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Politics a family pursuit for D8 Supe Sheehy

Vol. 47 • No. 2 • January 12-18, 2017

Mayor Ed Lee, left, administers the oath of office for the Board of Supervisors to Jeff Sheehy as his husband, Bill Berry, and their daughter, Michelle, look on.

Rick Gerharter

The Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District has received a $500,000 donation to begin work updating Harvey Milk Plaza.

Milk Plaza redesign gets $500K by Seth Hemmelgarn

by Matthew S. Bajko


olitics has long run in the family of Jeff Sheehy, appointed last week by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to the vacant District 8 seat on the Board of Supervisors.

His paternal grandfather, John Sheehy Sr., was appointed in 1934 to serve out a mayoral term in Waco, Texas, and decades later his father, James Robert Sheehy Sr., was elected mayor in 1992. A year later he was thrust into the national spotlight due to the deadly

federal raid on the Branch Davidian sect in a nearby town. At that time Jeff Sheehy was teaching English in Tokyo and was estranged from his lawyer father and mother, Zoe Ann, who See page 10 >>

With Trump in mind, SF supervisors vote for unity by Matthew S. Bajko

Rick Gerharter

transgender men and women “feel unwelcome in our country or unsafe in their e is still a week away from own communities” because of transphobecoming president, but bic policies being pushed by Republicans. Donald Trump loomed over And she pointed out that Mike Pence, this week’s swearings-in of new and the next vice president, “thinks the LGBT returning members to San Francisco’s community suffers from a disorder that Board of Supervisors. needs a cure.” The incoming Republican adminis“Not on my watch, not on my watch,” tration and GOP-controlled Congress vowed Breed, adding that the city’s valhave vowed to repeal the Affordable ues “have never been more important, Care Act, crack down on undocuour fight more clear, and our role never mented immigrants in the country, more needed.” and roll back workplace protections Her name being the only one put forfor LGBT federal employees as well as ward for the board presidency marked rescind other pro-LGBT policies. Not the first time in a decade that the superonly are all three actions anathema to visors had unanimously lined up behind Rick Gerharter San Francisco’s leaders, they are also one of their colleagues for the leadership likely to be coupled with severe finan- Newly re-elected San Francisco Board of Supervisors post, which sets the board’s agenda and cial implications for the city’s budget President London Breed, second from left, joined her family, doles out committee assignments, noted from left, cousin Chernia Breed-Williams with her son, and its residents. District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who Christian; mother, Priscilla Breed; and sister, Hattie Breed, With the change in leadership in seconded Breed’s nomination for the at a small reception following the swearing-in ceremony. the nation’s capital foremost in their presidency. minds, the often-fractious supervisors While acknowledging “there are policy opted for a show of unity this week. differences on this body,” the progressive worrying times,” warned Breed, who will overAll 11 members of the board voted to re-elect see the first board to have a female majority, Peskin said Breed, who aligns with the board’s District 5 Supervisor London Breed to a second now six-member moderate majority, had the consisting of six members, since 1995, when two-year term as board president at a special there were seven women serving as supervisors. smarts, independence, and qualifications “to meeting the morning of Monday, January 9. bridge that divide” at City Hall. She noted that not only are immigrants “Our city faces daunting challenges in under attack by the incoming president, but See page 10 >>



acked by a $500,000 donation from a gay California man and an upcoming international design competition, plans are being set for a multimillion-dollar redesign of San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Plaza. The dismal public space in the Castro district has been better known for the escalator that transports people from the underground Muni transit lines and for complaints about homeless people than it’s been for honoring the slain gay icon. The Harvey Milk Plaza Accessibility Improvements Project is expected to begin construction in 2020. A redesign for the plaza and Muni station was already expected in order to comply with accessibility mandates. Local residents and others “asked city leaders if the same construction window could also be used to reimagine the space as a fitting tribute to Milk and LGBT rights,” according to a news release from Andrea Aiello, executive director of the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District. “The city agreed.” “The accessibility project makes re-creating Harvey Milk Plaza much more of a reality because significant cost savings can be gained by rolling the re-envisioning project into the existing construction project,” Aiello stated. The project is expected to be funded by private donations and grants. The $500,000 donation from Lawrence Cushman, which gay state Senator Scott Wiener said was made several years ago into a fund at the Horizons Foundation for the plaza’s benefit, is being dedicated to help with the project, known as Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza. Cushman didn’t respond to interview requests. Two design charettes are planned for community members to give their input. The first will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 18 at Eureka Valley Recreation Center, 100 Collingwood Avenue. The second will See page 13 >>


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<< Community News

2 • Bay Area Reporter • January 12-18, 2017

EQCA hires first national policy director by Seth Hemmelgarn


he LGBT advocacy group Equality California has hired its first national policy director. Valerie Ploumpis, 54, will lead the statewide lobbying group’s legislative and administrative programs in Washington, D.C., where she lives. EQCA said she’ll help protect LGBT rights at the federal level, including through executive orders that protect the community from workplace discrimination, prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, and help many of the state’s estimated 250,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants stay in the country. Ploumpis pointed to California’s influence in terms of its population

and its economy, and its under the ACA, but progressive leadership. Trump and congressional “I think in many ways Republicans have vowed the rest of the country is to dismantle it. looking to California to Ploumpis, a lesbian lead” and help determine who started her new post “what would be the best January 1, said she’d also way forward on a number help try to safeguard of issues.” Medicare, Social Security, In an interview, and other programs. Ploumpis said, “My top Valerie Ploumpis EQCA Executive Dipriority is gearing up on rector Rick Zbur said in the Affordable Care Act,” a news release, “We’re and working with health, labor, thrilled that Valerie will move into civil rights, and other organizathis new role leading our federal tions to protect the national health advocacy efforts. Now more than care reform law “from the incoming ever, California is positioned as a Trump administration.” bastion of LGBT civil rights and as a An estimated 20 million people beacon of hope in Donald Trump’s have gained health care coverage America. Valerie will play an

instrumental role as we fight attacks on the Affordable Care Act that so many LGBT people rely on, on undocumented immigrants and on the LGBT community in general.” Around the time Zbur joined EQCA in 2014, he announced that the Los Angeles-based organization would like to expand its scope to include national issues. Ploumpis said that along with health care, “The other big priority is watching to see who Mr. Trump nominates for his Cabinet” and as chief advisers. Among the nominees EQCA and other groups are concerned about are Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), the attorney general nominee, who’s been criticized


for anti-LGBT and racist views; and Congressman Tom Price (RGeorgia), who’s been nominated to be Health and Human Services secretary. Ploumpis, who’s originally from California, is on the board of directors of OutRight Action International, a global LGBT civil rights group, and she also served as board co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund’s Campaign Board, which supports LGBT elected officials and political candidates. Before joining EQCA, she was a principal at the political consulting firm Burnside & Associates, where she managed political and mobilization campaigns. Her salary at EQCA is $90,000.t

Person arrested in Berkeley homicide by Seth Hemmelgarn


person who reportedly uses gender non-specific pronouns has been arrested in the homicide of one Berkeley woman and the stabbing of another. Pablo Gomez Jr., of North Hollywood, California, was arrested by Burbank police and is in custody in a Los Angeles County jail. L.A. County sheriff ’s records list Gomez’s age as 22. Police said Gomez is 24. The news site Berkeleyside reported that according to a friend, “Gomez Jr. uses the pronoun ‘they.’” Use of the pronoun often indicates that someone is gender non-conforming. According to a Berkeley Police Department community alert, officers responded to an 11:42 a.m. call Friday, January 6 to the 2600 block of Ridge Road to make contact

with a woman who’d apparently been stabbed and was “seriously wounded.” Police gave her medical attention until the Berkeley Fire Department arrived and took her to a hospital. As of Friday night, she was in “stable condition,” police said. While they were investigating that incident, officers were led to a location in the 2400 block of Ashby Avenue. “It was clear that based on the evidence found at the scene, a violent crime had occurred there,” police said. “It wasn’t until much later that the body of an as of yet, unidentified person was discovered.” As homicide detectives followed leads, Gomez became “the primary suspect” for both incidents. “A witness who saw him earlier in the day reported that he had shaved his head which may have been done in an effort to alter his appearance,”

Courtesy Berkeley Police Dept.

Pablo Gomez Jr.

police said. In their alert, police said, “Gomez is believed to be armed and a danger to the community.” Berkeleyside reported that the victim who died has been identified as Emilie Inman, 27, of Berkeley,

“who did not know her killer.” A technician with the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau told the Bay Area Reporter Wednesday, January 11 that she could not yet confirm the name of the victim. Sergeant Claudio Losacco, a Burbank police spokesman, said his agency arrested Gomez around 1 p.m. Saturday, January 7. Losacco, who didn’t have information on Gomez’s sexual orientation or gender identity, referred inquiries to Berkeley police, where Sergeant Andrew Frankel didn’t respond to emailed questions about a possible motive or how Gomez knew the victims. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department who didn’t provide their name said in an email that their agency didn’t have details about the case or Gomez’s arrest. Jail records list Gomez’s sex as male.

“At this time it is unknown when [Gomez] will be transported to Alameda County; his transfer will be determined by the county where the incident occurred and extradition statutes,” the sheriff ’s spokesperson said. They added that Twin Towers Correctional Facility, where Gomez is being held without bail “is considered a medical housing facility,” and because of medical privacy laws, the agency can’t release specific housing information. On Facebook, Gomez is a member of groups including the Gender Equity Resource Center, which is based at UC Berkeley and addresses LGBTQ and other issues, and Oakland Queer + Trans Open Mic: Spectrum Queer Media. Billy Curtis, the resource center’s executive director, didn’t respond to an interview request Wednesday morning.t

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Community News>>

January 12-18, 2017 • Bay Area Reporter • 3

Police offer tips to report hate crimes by Sari Staver


Sari Staver

San Francisco Police Captain Teresa Ewins, center, talks with residents at a Castro-area safety meeting Monday.

ith hate crimes on the rise nationally, a panel of activists and police officers suggested ways San Franciscans can help law enforcement keep the city from joining the trend. The panel was held Monday, January 9 at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center. It was sponsored by the San Francisco Police Department Chief ’s LGBT Community Advisory Forum in cooperation with a handful of other community groups. Captain Teresa Ewins, a lesbian who heads the Pride Alliance for LGBT officers and oversees the Tenderloin district police station,

clarified the meaning of hate crimes. Ewins said that to be defined as a hate crime, the incident must be committed against an individual because of who the victim is or who they are perceived to be, which can include race, color, ancestry, and sexual orientation. Such an incident can be a spoken or written threat or an ongoing pattern of intimidation; destruction or vandalism of property; or an attempted or actual physical attack, she said. “Not all incidents of hatred are crimes,” she said. Verbal namecalling is not a hate crime, and must be accompanied by a viable threat of violence and the ability to carry out the threat, she said. The perpetrator must “go out of their way” to

pick you out, she said. In the state of California, criminals convicted of hate crimes typically face stiffer penalties, she said. In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter, Ewins said that there is no evidence that there has been an increase in hate crimes in San Francisco. Activist Shaun Haines, a gay man who’s founder and president of SF Black Community Matters, asked the panel how the city was responding to the increased activity by the Ku Klux Klan, including distribution of literature and motorcyclists “with hoodies and hats” riding through the Western Addition, carrying flags with swastikas. Interim police Chief Toney

Chaplin, acknowledging FBI statistics that show nationally, hate crimes have “increased significantly” in recent years, said that it is difficult for police to chase motorcyclists in city traffic. Literature distribution is protected by the right to “free speech,” he added. According to Greg Carey, chief of patrol for Castro Community on Patrol, the volunteers’ bright orange uniforms give them “a lot of visibility” on the street. Criminals probably don’t know if group members can make arrests (they cannot) or if patrollers are armed (they are not) “but they know they are being watched and that can be a deterrent,” he said. See page 14 >>

California trans prisoner gets surgery by Seth Hemmelgarn


n imprisoned California transgender woman has had genderaffirming surgery, making her the first trans inmate in the country to undergo the procedure while incarcerated. In a settlement reached last August with inmate Shiloh Quine, 57, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation agreed to provide surgery and other medical care. Quine, who’s in custody at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, a men’s facility, has been serving a term of life without the possibility of parole since 1981 after being convicted in Los Angeles County for first-degree murder, kidnapping, and robbery. The Oakland-based Transgender Law Center assisted Quine with her case.

In a statement released last week, TLC Executive Director Kris Hayashi said, “For too long, institutions have ignored doctors and casually dismissed medically necessary and lifesaving care for transgender people just because of who we are – with devastating consequences for our community. With this surgery, the state is fulfilling one part of a landmark settlement that was a victory not only for Shiloh and transgender people in prison, but for all transgender people who have ever been denied the medical care we need.” A TLC spokeswoman didn’t respond to an emailed question about when the surgery took place, but several media outlets have reported on the procedure. Quine said in a news release in August, before her surgery, “After so many years of almost giving up on myself, I will finally be liberated from

the prison within a prison even though it wasn’t. She I felt trapped in, and feel was serving a life sentence whole, both as a woman without the possibility of and as a human being. parole for a murder she I’m just overwhelmed, said she did not commit.” especially knowing that In an August email, this will help so many CDCR spokesman Jefother people. I know I can frey Callison said, “The never truly make amends Eighth Amendment of for what I’ve done in the Courtesy SFINX Publishing/ the Constitution reThe Women of San Quentin past, but I am committed quires that prisons proShiloh Quine to making myself a better vide medically necessary person, and to helping treatment for inmates. others so they don’t have to struggle CDCR evaluates every case individthe way I have.” ually and in the Quine case, every Quine is one of several people medical doctor and mental health profiled in “The Women of San clinician who has reviewed this case, Quentin: Soul Murder of Transincluding two independent mental gender Women in Male Prisons,” a health experts, determined that this book by Kristin Schreier Lyseggen. surgery is medically necessary for According to a galley of the book, Quine,” who’s also known as RodQuine wrote to Lyseggen that she’d ney James. told police in 1980 “that the gun In the settlement, the state also used to murder someone was hers, agreed to change its policies to allow

transgender prisoners access to clothing and other items “consistent with their gender identity,” and the state “also affirmed that it is revising its policies regarding transgender inmates’ access to medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria, including surgery,” according to TLC, which represented Quine along with pro bono counsel from the law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP. The Associated Press reported that Farida Baig, the daughter of Shahid Ali Baig, Quine’s victim, “objects to inmates getting taxpayer-funded surgery that is not readily available to non-criminals.” “My dad begged for his life,” Farida Baig told the news organization. “It just made me dizzy and sick. I’m helping pay for his surgery; I live in California. It’s kind of like a slap in the face.”t

<< Open Forum

4 • Bay Area Reporter • January 12-18, 2017

Volume 47, Number 2 January 12-18, 2017 PUBLISHER Michael M. Yamashita Thomas E. Horn, Publisher Emeritus (2013) Publisher (2003 – 2013) Bob Ross, Founder (1971 – 2003) NEWS EDITOR Cynthia Laird ARTS EDITOR Roberto Friedman BARTAB EDITOR & EVENTS LISTINGS EDITOR Jim Provenzano ASSISTANT EDITORS Matthew S. Bajko • Seth Hemmelgarn CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ray Aguilera • Tavo Amador • Race Bannon Erin Blackwell • Roger Brigham Brian Bromberger • Victoria A. Brownworth Brent Calderwood • Philip Campbell Heather Cassell • Belo Cipriani Richard Dodds • Michael Flanagan Jim Gladstone • David Guarino Liz Highleyman • Brandon Judell • John F. Karr Lisa Keen • Matthew Kennedy • Joshua Klipp David Lamble • Max Leger Michael McDonagh • David-Elijah Nahmod Paul Parish • Sean Piverger • Lois Pearlman Tim Pfaff • Jim Piechota • Bob Roehr Donna Sachet • Adam Sandel • Khaled Sayed Jason Serinus • Gregg Shapiro Gwendolyn Smith • Sari Staver • Jim Stewart Sean Timberlake • Andre Torrez • Ronn Vigh Ed Walsh • Cornelius Washington Sura Wood ART DIRECTION Jay Cribas PRODUCTION/DESIGN Max Leger PHOTOGRAPHERS Jane Philomen Cleland • FBFE Rick Gerharter • Gareth Gooch Lydia Gonzales • Jose Guzman-Colon Rudy K. Lawidjaja • Georg Lester • Dan Lloyd Jo-Lynn Otto • Rich Stadtmiller Steven Underhil • Dallis Willard • Bill Wilson ILLUSTRATORS & CARTOONISTS Paul Berge • Christine Smith ADVERTISING/ADMINISTRATION Colleen Small VICE PRESIDENT OF ADVERTISING Scott Wazlowski – 415.829.8937 NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE Rivendell Media – 212.242.6863

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An inspired pick to lead D8 M

ayor Ed Lee’s selection of longtime AIDS advocate Jeff Sheehy for District 8 supervisor is an inspired choice. A gay man, husband, and father, Sheehy is an exceptional individual who has the opportunity to lead not only his district, which includes the Castro, Noe Valley, and Glen Park, but also the city as it prepares to face President-elect Donald Trump’s administration when he takes office next week. “I found someone I’m excited about,” Lee said Sunday at Sheehy’s swearing-in ceremony in the South Light Court at City Hall. We’re excited, too. Sheehy has an independent streak that will serve him well. A former president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, Sheehy last year backed then-Supervisor Scott Wiener in the state Senate race, and forcefully called out Wiener’s opponent, Supervisor Jane Kim, who was accused, along with gay former Supervisor David Campos, of fighting efforts to add $2.5 million in funding for the city’s Getting to Zero initiative. At the time, Campos said that “it wasn’t enough” to focus on Getting to Zero, and he had wanted to include other programs. But that would have been a huge blow to the initiative that aims to eliminate new HIV infections, deaths due to HIV/AIDS, and stigma against people living with HIV by 2020. It relies on a three-prong strategy of expanded access to PrEP, rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy, and engaging and retaining HIV-positive people in care. Now that he’s on the Board of Supervisors, Sheehy, who was a founding member of the Getting to Zero steering committee, will have more influence on the city’s budget. Sheehy is also the first openly HIV-positive member of the board, and his support in the HIV/AIDS community was on display Sunday, with many HIVers, AIDS service organization leaders, and researchers in attendance. He joins El Cerrito City Councilman Gabriel Quinto as the only out Bay Area local officeholders living with HIV. That alone is a weapon to fight the entrenched HIV/AIDS stigma that remains, even in San Francisco. The fact that it took a reporter months to find three young men living with HIV who were willing to be interviewed for a story we published a couple weeks ago is just one example of how deeply ingrained this stigma is in the LGBT community; another is the unwillingness of AIDS organization leaders to disclose their own status when we ask them. Health-related issues could be where Sheehy will focus his attention, and it’s just in time. The Republican-controlled Congress is expected to vote this week on the first steps for repealing

But as Asian-Americans, they also face the perception that the most number of months ago, far beleadership an Asian-American can fore Election Day and the reckdemonstrate is the role of “sidekick.” oning of Donald Trump’s America, It’s the same perception that held a number of my friends were sharSan Francisco back 160 years before ing a New York magazine article on electing its first Chinese-American their Facebook newsfeeds. mayor, even though over a quarter The article identified 10 young of our electorate is Asian-American. Democratic electeds around the Culturally within the Asian and country that could be the “next Pacific Islander communities the Benjamin Leong Obama” – a charismatic, visionary norm is to keep your peace and not presidential candidate that could to “rock the boat.” Through historic lead a diverse and tolerant country in 2024. discrimination and prejudice that the comAmong them was my friend and Bay Area munity has endured, most are taught resident, California Assemblyman Evan Low to stay quiet and to adhere to set (D-Campbell). social norms with fear of repriOne of my friends commented – “Gay sals and retributions. As second, Asian? More of a lover, not a leader.” third, fourth, and later generaLooking back now after the disastrous retions emerge, we must learn to sult of Election Day, it seems petty to quibble adapt to the new environment over such a comment. It’s common knowland to provide a voice that was edge among political circles that Asian and once forbidden. America is now Pacific Islanders that identify as LGBT often the new motherland for most as face two quiet, but insidious, challenges of we are born in the U.S.; we are discrimination. Americans. As LGBT individuals, they must overcome For those who are LGBT Asian Pacific Isthe social boundaries that come with their lander interested in politics and who are civic sexual orientation – whether that means social minded, they have consistently been asked, stigma from particular voters, or even limita“Do you represent LGBT values or Asian Pations placed on them by LGBT allies. In San cific Islander values?” The question comes out Francisco, it often seems like LGBT political as if the choice is mutually exclusive, but those candidates are only considered viable if they values can be symbiotic. I’m a third generation run for offices that represent the Castro, or MisCalifornian but when you look at me, people sion district; but ignored if they campaign in assume I am an immigrant. Questions such as the Sunset, Forest Hill, or the more conservative “Where are you really from?” are so common affluent areas in the Marina and Pacific Heights. that I have memorized a standard reply. When

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Of course, the housing crisis and homelessness continue to impact District 8, and we expect that Sheehy will cast a critical eye at development projects to ensure they include appropriate levels of below-market-rate units and that more affordable projects are green-lighted. Improving the climate for small businesses is also important for the Castro, Noe Valley, and other commercial corridors in the district. Sheehy knows how to mobilize people. He, Geoff Kors, and Carol Stuart were major players in the city’s Equal Benefits Ordinance fight about 20 years ago. They kept the pressure on United Airlines, which balked at the plan to have companies with city contracts to offer the same benefits to LGBT workers that they offered to straight ones. Now it seems almost quaint but at the time it was a big deal. Sheehy helped organize boycotts outside United’s downtown ticket office – this was before online bookings – and engaged the help of activists wearing playful costumes such as Tinky Winky of “Teletubbies” fame to garner media attention. It took years for United to come around, but eventually the company relented. Now, of course, equal benefits laws are standard in many municipalities. For his part, Kors was elected last year to a seat on the Palm Springs City Council, where he continues to fight for equality. Now, Sheehy joins him as another activist working in local government. Sheehy will be a representative for everyone in the district – LGBTQ and straight. We look forward to his proposals and contributions to the city.t

The future of LGBT APIs in politics by Benjamin Leong

Bay Area Reporter

the Affordable Care Act, and Trump is calling on Congress to come up with a replacement quicker than lawmakers had planned. That will put them in the unenviable position of trying to take away health coverage for 20 million Americans and presumably replacing it with a less comprehensive plan. And local governments can’t expect any help from the health lobby. The New York Times reported this week that many are so scared of Trump that they are “struggling for a response to a legislative quick strike that would upend much of the American health care system.” Sheehy hopes to establish a board committee to deal with federal health cuts and policies. The ACA has been especially beneficial to transgender people and those living with HIV/AIDS, who benefit under its ban on pre-existing conditions, and many are understandably concerned about any future Republican plan put forward. In addition to health, there are myriad other important issues that affect District 8, such as off-leash rules for dogs. This week, the National Park Service announced it is placing a hold on the new rule for dog management in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a big victory for dog owners who oppose the massive restrictions on off-leash areas. But the Recreation and Park Department’s plans for city parks would also reduce access and, in a city with a lot of dogs, that’s something that needs fine-tuning.


it comes to politics, regardless of how many generations my family has stayed in America, my outside appearance will be considered foreign. Even though our community is diverse, policy makers will always first identify my origins by appearance before noticing my issues. When it comes to me being LGBT and Asian Pacific Islander, the issues grow exponentially as now I have double duty fighting for equality by both orientation and race. Like most Asian and Pacific Islander women, LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander men and transgender people also feel the combined fetish and objectification within the community. It means that politically, we are perpetually that small, nerdy kid in high school who was always considered last when our classmates were choosing basketball teams. Intellectually, we would be an ideal partner but not for other things that seem to be “sporty” such as being the “leader” or the “cool kid” – always the supporting character, never the lead. But in Trump’s America, it’s now more important than ever to push back against these false stereotypes. Not just for the values of diversity, but so we can win. Low is still a top presidential candidate for 2024. He is a prodigious fundraiser, a charming consensusbuilder, and a principled lawmaker. If we ruled out Low because of his race and sexual orientation – and our assumptions about what that inferred about his leadership skills or See page 13 >>


Letters >>

January 12-18, 2017 • Bay Area Reporter • 5

Sheehy an excellent choice for supe

I want to say thank you to Mayor Ed Lee for appointing and congratulations to Jeff Sheehy on becoming District 8 supervisor. Sheehy is an excellent choice to replace Scott Wiener. He’s a smart, common sense, independent person who has our community’s back. Sheehy fought to get the city to enact the Equal Benefits Ordinance, which requires companies doing business with the city to offer same-sex couples the same benefits as married couples.

As Mayor Gavin Newsom’s HIV/AIDS adviser, he fought to fill gaps in funding and get treatment for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Sheehy is a fighter and we all need to get behind and support him. As a resident of Glen Park, he will represent all of District 8 and, I believe, all of San Francisco as well. Stephen Adams San Francisco

Community leaders praise Sheehy pick for D8 supe seat by Matthew S. Bajko


an Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s decision to name AIDS advocate Jeff Sheehy as the new District 8 supervisor, making him the first person living with HIV to serve on the board, has drawn wide praise from neighborhood leaders and the city’s LGBT community. The vacancy was created by the election in November of gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). Lee introduced Sheehy, 59, a gay married father who lives in Glen Park, at a news conference the morning of Friday, January 6 at the Noe Valley Town Square. Two days later the mayor, who also resides in District 8, officiated Sheehy’s oath of office early Sunday afternoon at a community event inside City Hall’s South Light Court. “He has both huge shoes to fill and the height I tried to deal with too,” joked Lee about Sheehy, who at 6 foot 3.5 inches is nearly four inches shorter than Wiener. Monday morning Sheehy joined the winners of the odd-numbered fall supervisor races to take his oath of office a second time in the board chambers, with San Francisco Superior Court Judge Teri L. Jackson officiating, her first official act as the court’s new presiding judge. He then voted with the rest of his colleagues to reelect District 5 Supervisor London Breed the board’s president, and at his first official board meeting Tuesday, Sheehy was part of the 10-1 vote calling for $9 million to fund free City College for city residents in the fall.

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Jeff Sheehy addresses the media surrounded by his family and city officials after Mayor Ed Lee announced him as the new District 8 supervisor at the Noe Valley Town Square.

Foundation senior vice president James Loduca, who had also sought the seat, called Sheehy an “inspired choice” to lead District 8, which not only covers the gay Castro district but also Duboce Triangle, Noe Valley, Diamond Heights and Glen Park. “We couldn’t ask for a better representative,” Loduca, who is gay and this week joined Salesforce as its director of equality programs, told the B.A.R. Gary McCoy, a gay man who is HIV-positive and worked as a former supervisorial aide at City Hall, told the B.A.R. he is excited to see someone living with HIV serve on the board. “I think in terms of being an advocate and putting himself out there certainly helps folks who may not be open about their status,” said McCoy. “I think it is the right

“Here's a quote for you.” –A. Person

“I am pretty excited and looking forward to working with him,” Breed told the Bay Area Reporter at the press event last week. “I have heard nothing but good things about him ... I am looking forward to having another grownup on the board.” Breed initially had urged the mayor to appoint her chief of staff, Conor Johnston, who is gay, to the vacancy on the board. But he pulled his name from consideration and joined a number of local leaders at the press announcement to show his support for Sheehy, calling the choice “thoughtful and inspired” in a Facebook post. “These are tumultuous times for our community and our city. I stand behind my new supervisor 100% and was proud to do so physically at his announcement this morning,” wrote Johnston. Former San Francisco AIDS

time, especially with the new federal administration.” While well known in the health field due to his work on AIDS issues and membership on the board of the state’s stem cell institute, Sheehy also has political experience due to his time as president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club in the late 1990s and as a member of the local Democratic County Central Committee. Lesbian former state Senator Carole Migden, herself a former supervisor, attended Sunday’s swearing in ceremony and praised Sheehy’s appointment in a brief interview with the B.A.R. “He’s a good guy,” she said of Sheehy. “I worked with him and the late Jeff Getty on a couple of very strong and precedent setting HIV bills.” One was a law allowing UCSF, where Sheehy worked as the longtime spokesman of its AIDS

Research Institute, to establish an HIV organ transplant center. “There was great resistance,” Migden recalled. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who appointed Sheehy his adviser on HIV policy when he served as mayor of San Francisco, was also effusive about the new supervisor in his remarks at the ceremony, calling him “an enlightened choice for District 8 supervisor.” Newsom suggested that “remarkable things” happen at the local level, “an antidote in some ways” to what’s going on at the national level. In Sheehy, Newsom said, the city has a supervisor “who gets it and gets it done.” “He’s committed to things he cares about,” Newsom added. “We have a committed public servant.” Diane Jones, a retired HIV/AIDS nurse, first met Sheehy in 1997 when he was lying on a gurney at San Francisco General Hospital “and he greeted me with a rant about the ineptitude of our hospital.” “We shared a moment together,” said Jones, who is the longtime partner of Roma Guy, a former city health commissioner. Referring to a San Francisco Chronicle story last Saturday that referred to Sheehy as a “bulldog,” Jones said, “I know you as fierce and passionate.” Not everyone was pleased with the mayor’s decision. Gay former District 9 Supervisor David Campos criticized Sheehy’s demeanor in a tweet he sent out Friday. “Thank you Mr. Mayor! Such a divisive toxic choice is a big plus for progressives,” wrote Campos, who was termed off the board over the weekend. It prompted gay mayoral aide Tony Winnicker to respond in his own tweet to Campos that he was being “toxic and divisive and bitter to the last. Your 15 minutes are done. #byefelicia.”t

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Cynthia Laird contributed to this story. Web Extra: For more queer political news, be sure to check http:// Monday mornings at noon for Political Notes, the notebook’s online companion. This week’s column reported on Ignite’s efforts to recruit young women to run for elected office.

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<< Community News

6 • Bay Area Reporter • January 12-18, 2017


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LGBTs sworn in at City College

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community college. Gay men Alex Randolph, left, and Tom Temprano joined Shanell Williams, a bisexual woman, and Rafael Mandelman, a gay man, after the ceremony, held at the school’s main campus.

SF progressives plan their anti-Trump strategy


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Trump as their affiliations. Regina Johnson, an indigenous rights activist, pointed out that Trump hopes to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency. “The struggle is far from over,” she said. “Trump is no friend of water protection. He wants to push for more fossil fuel.” She also referred to the ongoing struggle at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, where indigenous people and their supporters are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

are now both in court refuting the pipeline’s claim that it has the necessary permission to bore near the tribe’s reservation boundary, according to the Bismarck Tribune. Former Supervisor David Campos, a gay Latino man, addressed immigrant rights. “It’s a pretty tough time for all of us,” he said. “We must take what Trump says at face value – he said he will move to deport 3 million immigrants. We have to fight Trump and the corporate Democrats who got us into this mess.” See page 11 >>

Activists stage anti-Trump die-in at Twitter


• SF 01


Rick Gerharter


D ay

by David-Elijah Nahmod


round 30 activists staged a diein outside of Twitter’s Market Street headquarters Saturday, January 7 to ask the social media company to ban the Twitter account of President-elect Donald Trump. At issue is Trump’s tweeting personal insults at numerous public figures, and questioning national security officials and various policies. Most recently Trump called acclaimed actress Meryl Street “overrated” after she called out his bullying and mocking a disabled reporter in a riveting acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes Sunday night. Twitter has been Trump’s main form of communication both during his presidential campaign and the transition period. Most concerning to the protesters are Trump’s tweets calling for escalation of nuclear weapons and his racist tweets against Muslims and Mexicans. On December 7, 2016, Trump tweeted out “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our

David-Elijah Nahmod

Protesters lay on the ground during a die-in outside Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters Saturday, January 7.

country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” On December 22, 2015, Trump Tweeted: “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” “Because allowing him to spew ignorance may lead to the next

world war, Twitter must ban @realDonaldTrump,” said Alan Marling, who organized the die-in, referring to Trump’s Twitter account. “And, if he misuses the @POTUS account in the same ways, they must suspend it for four years.” Protesters cheered in agreement as Marling spoke, some holding See page 14 >>


International News>>

January 12-18, 2017 • Bay Area Reporter • 7

Kerry formally apologizes for ‘lavender scare’ by Heather Cassell


ecretary of State John Kerry formally apologized Monday to State Department employees who were fired during the “lavender scare” decades ago. The apology followed Kerry’s January 5 exit memo to President Barack Obama, which highlighted accomplishments on LGBT rights within the department and globally by the State Department. In spite of the accomplishments in recent years there were decades of despair and careers lost simply because the individuals were LGBT. LGBT diplomats who served in the Foreign Service remained in the closet until the mid-1990s when it became illegal to discriminate and deny security clearances based on sexual orientation in the federal government. “In the past – as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades – the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place. These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today,” Kerry said in a statement. The apology comes less than two weeks before Kerry’s departure as secretary of state. President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be the nation’s top diplomat. However, Tillerson faces a tough confirmation hearing due to his business connections around the world, particularly his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the lavender scare, an estimated 1,000 LGBT members of the Foreign Service were “witch hunted” and purged from the State Department and other government agencies, according to David Johnson, the author of “The Lavender Scare.” The lavender scare coincided with the so-called second red scare, a campaign fueled by fear of communism led by Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin), who created a black list of individuals he accused of being communists without regard to evidence during the 1950s. Like the red scare, the lavender scare was fueled by fear of gay people that was justified by supporters’ argument to protect the nation. McCarthy

and his followers claimed diplomats to leave their gay people were vulnerable posts by Inauguration Day. to blackmail and prone to In 2015, the State Degetting caught in “honey partment created the firsttraps,” that made them ever LGBTQI special envoy security risks, Senator Ben position solely to address Cardin (D-Maryland) discrimination against wrote in a letter to Kerry queer people around the in November. The witchworld. It was filled by gay hunt was dubbed McCarveteran Foreign Service thyism in history. The first Secretary of State member Randy Berry. red scare occurred in 1919 John Kerry “On behalf of the deand 1920. partment, I apologize to However, the effects of those who were impacted the lavender scare rippled through by the practices of the past and rethe rest of the 20th century long after affirm the department’s steadfast McCarthy’s death in 1957. During commitment to diversity and incluthe same period a handful of sion for all our employees, including brave gay diplomats orgamembers of the LGBTI communinized in 1992. They formed ty,” Kerry said in the statement. the Gays and Lesbians in Why now? Foreign Affairs Agencies in An unidentified journalist quesorder to push for changes tioned State Department spokesto serve openly. man John Kirby about why Kerry Bob Gilchrist, a gay man chose to issue the apology on who served in the Foreign Monday. Service for 22 years, told “He certainly knew the basics of the Bay Area Reporter in 2012 the history of the lavender scare,” for the organization’s 20th annisaid Kirby, stating that Kerry didn’t versary that there was a time when consider himself an expert on the people would move to the other history. “It was brought to his atside of the cafeteria when GLIFAA tention in recent weeks, and he would celebrate Pride. Gilchrist, felt it was appropriate to issue the who served as president of GLIFAA apology.” twice, said it was difficult to find alKerry was reportedly under preslies in the State Department. sure to apologize for the less-than“I was so affronted by the dissavory past of the department that criminatory treatment I received he’s led since 2013, taking over from and humiliation of it, it turned me former Secretary of State Hillary into somebody who wasn’t going to Clinton. Under both Clinton and stand for it anymore,” David Buss, Kerry’s leadership LGBT rights 64, who retired after a 34-year caand the profile of queer State Dereer in the Foreign Service, told the partment employees was elevated B.A.R. in 2012. around the world. It wasn’t until 1995, when thenIn December, Cardin urged Kerry President Bill Clinton signed an exto remove the pain of the past by ecutive order barring the federal govpublicly apologizing. ernment from discriminating against With the start of the new ConLGBT employees by denying them gress last week, Cardin intends to security clearances simply because of introduce legislation to extend an their sexual orientation, according to apology on behalf of Congress, the New York Times. Two years later, since he noted that it was largely to Clinton appointed James Hormel as blame for the episode. the first openly gay U.S. ambassador. Additionally, he suggested a perHe served in Luxembourg from 1999 manent exhibit of the lavender scare to 2001. Hormel published a memhistory at the State Department’s oir, “Fit to Serve,” in 2011. National Museum of American Clinton later signed another exDiplomacy. ecutive order, which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orienOlympian weds girlfriend tation in the competitive service and Olympic gold medalist Caster Sefederal civilian workforce, with the menya wed her longtime girlfriend, exception of the intelligence comViolet Raseboya, in a ceremony in munity, according to Cardin. South Africa January 7. Today, there are six gay ambassaIt was a perfect birthday present dors heading U.S. embassies around for Semenya, 26, who won a gold the world, although the Trump medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics. transition team has issued a blanket Semenya was forced to undergo mandate for all Obama-appointed

a gender test prior to competing. She underwent the tests performed by doctors and Olympic officials allowed her to compete. She blew the competition away in the women’s 800-meter race. “I don’t give a damn what people say about me,” Semenya told You magazine. “I like me the way I am and who cares what other people say?”

Indian trans principal’s resignation declined

India’s first transgender principal of a women’s college will continue to lead the school. An investigation into claims of non-cooperation among staff and students at the college found that 85 percent of the 12 claims leveled against Manabi Bandopadhyay were baseless, reported the Times of India. Bandopadhyay made headlines when she was appointed as principal of Krishnagar Women’s College in June 2015. She was informed of the results of the investigation and was requested to return to her post at the college. “Had the media not highlighted my case, my wait for justice would have been longer. It was because of the media support that the whole of India reacted to my suffering and gave me confidence to fight it out. However, I wish no transgender ever gets cornered this way,” she said. Two of the teachers who allegedly

agitated against Bandopadhyay told the newspaper that it had nothing to do with the fact that she is a transgender woman. “A person who has undergone such a revolutionary change might think that the world is not ready to accept her. But I don’t believe that was ever a problem in her case,” said Suryendu Chakraborty, Ph.D. She will be resuming her duties as principal of the Krishnagar Women’s College Tuesday.

Pakistan high court rules to include trans in national census

The Lahore High Court in Pakistan ruled that the country should include transgender people in the national population census. Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah heard a petition against non-inclusion of members of the transgender community in the census and directed authorities to keep a separate box in the national identity card registration form for the sexual orientation of transgender persons. The judge was assured by representatives of the deputy attorney general and ministry of population welfare, who were at the court, that the members of the transgender community will be included in the forthcoming census.t Got international LGBT news tips? Call or send them to Heather Cassell at Skype: heather.cassell, or

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<< Business News

8 • Bay Area Reporter • January 12-18, 2017

Bay Area companies earn high marks for pro-LGBT workplace policies by Matthew S. Bajko

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., which has its Niche Diagnostics Center of Excellence in Fremont, achieved a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Corporate Equality Index.

dozen people belong to its LGBT employee group. Leetch told the B.A.R. that having the HRC’s seal of approval as a “best place to work” if you are LGBT has benefited the company’s hiring efforts “in this geographic region specifically,” referring to its work sites in the Bay Area. The company is committed to ensuring it achieves a perfect score on the 2018 index. “This initiative is very important to us,” said Leetch, and aligns with Thermo Fisher Scientific’s commitment “to make our customers healthier and safer.”

Bay Area scores

Honor Roll


GBT protections are likely to be targeted in the coming weeks by the supposedly business-friendly administration of President-elect Donald Trump, yet a large swath of corporate America has already decided that protecting LGBT employees is good for a company’s bottom line. A record breaking 517 businesses earned a top score of 100 percent and the coveted distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index, which the Human Rights Campaign released in early December. The national LGBT advocacy organization’s HRC Foundation has been compiling the annual scorecard since 2002 and this year officially rated 887 companies. The number of companies earning perfect marks increased substantially from the 407 that did in the 2016 report. And 647 companies in this year’s CEI now offer transgender workers at least one health care plan that has transgender-inclusive coverage, noted HRC, a 314 percent increase since 2012, when the CEI first included trans-inclusive health care as a requisite for companies to receive a perfect score. “Even in the face of relentless attempts to undermine equality, America’s leading companies and law firms remain steadfast and committed to supporting and defending the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people,” stated HRC President Chad Griffin. “The unprecedented expansion of inclusive workplaces across the country and around the globe not only reflects our progress, it helps drive it.” Griffin noted that, as the LGBT community enters “a new chapter in our fight for equality, support from the business community will be more critical than ever to protect our historic advancements over the last decade and to continue to push equality forward for workers, customers, and families around the world.”


Courtesy Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

In the Bay Area alone, 51 companies earned perfect scores, including jeans purveyor Levi Strauss & Co., electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc., and financial giants Visa, Wells Fargo & Co., and Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. Oaklandbased The Clorox Company once again earned a 100 score, which it has maintained since 2006. “We’re honored to have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign for our progressive workplace policies and practices for more than a decade now,” stated Dawn Willoughby, Clorox’s chief operating officer and executive vice president of its Cleaning, International and Corporate Strategy, who also serves as executive sponsor of PRIDE, the company’s employee resource group for LGBT employees. “Being named a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality is a reflection of our company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion at all levels – from the grassroots work of our employee and business resource groups to our senior leadership and board of directors. Together, they help create an environment where each and every person can thrive while contributing to the growth of the business.” Many technology companies also made the list, including Dropbox Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., Apple Inc., Adobe Systems Inc., Salesforce, Intel Corp.,

LinkedIn, eBay Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., and Twitter Inc. A total of 123 major companies and law firms in California were included in the 2017 index with the average score 82 percent. Seventy earned 100 percent, 82 earned 90 percent and above, and 93 earned 80 percent and above. Among the Bay Area-based companies, 56 earned a score of 95 or higher, with another 15 falling in the 65 to 90 range. Another four earned scores of 40 or lower. For the second year in a row life sciences company Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., which is based in Waltham, Massachusetts but has seven workplaces located around the Bay Area, earned a 100 score. In an interview last week with the Bay Area Reporter, Charlotte A. McCormack, the company’s senior manager for corporate public relations, said Thermo Fisher Scientific had made achieving a perfect score on the index a priority in 2015 after falling short of the target in years past. One step it took was to update its health care policy so that transgender employees have access to “a full range of medically necessary services,” said Kari Leetch, the company’s senior director of human resources based at its Fremont location. It also updated its philanthropic guidelines for the company’s charitable giving matching program to include gender identity and established a companywide diversity council. And Thermo Fisher

Scientific designated a person to focus specially on LGBT recruitment, retention, and development, noted Leetch, who is a straight ally. “It definitely has had a positive impact for us,” she said. “It is really empowering employees to come to work and be their true selves.” Marc N. Casper, the company’s president and CEO, spoke out against the transphobic House Bill 2 in North Carolina, where Thermo Fisher Scientific also has work sites, and called for its repeal. The legislation, adopted last year, requires transgender people to use public restrooms based on the gender they were assigned at birth and restricts the state’s cities and towns from banning LGBT discrimination. Its enactment led many jurisdictions, including San Francisco and the state of California as of this month, to ban taxpayer-funded travel to the Tar Heel State. Yet lawmakers in Texas are now pushing a similar bill this year. “We are a company standing by our commitment to the LGBTQ community and often have been active in opposing anti-LGBT legislation,” said McCormack. Thermo Fisher Scientific employs 2,983 people in the Bay Area, with 546 assigned to its Niche Diagnostics Center of Excellence in Fremont, which develops and manufactures products used worldwide in health care and other markets. While it doesn’t know how many of its employees identify as LGBT, among its global workforce several

Another local company with a perfect score on the 2017 index is San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which for 13 years has been named by HRC as one of the best places for LGBT people to work, also was declared the 2016 Corporation of the Year by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The business group bestowed the honor on the utility company at its 2016 National Dinner Awards, held November 18 in Washington, D.C. The award is given to a company that has gone above and beyond to ensure its LGBT suppliers, customers, and employees are treated fairly and given equal opportunities. “PG&E has been a leader in diversity and inclusion for decades. We recognize that it’s the strength of our diversity that makes our company and communities successful,” stated PG&E Vice President, Federal Affairs and Policy and Chief Sustainability Officer Melissa Lavinson, who accepted the award on behalf of the company. “We’re proud to be the first California utility to include LGBT in its supplier diversity program. Our commitment to diversity within the communities we serve is the right way to do business and how we’ll continue to work together in building a better California.”t Got a tip on LGBT business news? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 829-8836 or e-mail m.bajko@

Park Service muzzled on GGNRA dog plan by Cynthia Laird


he National Park Service is putting on hold the publication of the final rule for dog management at the sprawling Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The move was met with praise from dog owners and other supporters of more off-leash areas within GGNRA. According to a news release issued Tuesday, January 10, the Park Service decision comes in response to requests from members of Congress to extend the waiting period for the final environmental impact statement. “This pause will also allow the National Park Service to conduct a review of certain records being

released in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act request related to the dog management plan and rule,” the news release states. As reported last month, park officials and dog owners have been fighting over the proposed rules for the last 14 years, as they will curtail off-leash access to many GGNRA sites dog owners frequent, particularly Ocean Beach, Crissy Field, and Fort Funston in San Francisco. Last month the Park Service released its final environmental impact statement. and had hoped to adopt the changes early this year. While the Park Service amended its last proposal based on more than 4,100 comments it received last year, dog advocates contend the plan released last month will still result in

a 90 percent reduction in off-leash dog areas in the GGNRA. And the San Francisco Dog Owners Group is prepared to sue to block its implementation. Dog groups had already sued under FOIA to obtain Park Service documents. Last week Bay Area dog and recreation groups launched WoofieLeaks, which they said in a news release exposes a “biased federal process riddled with clear contempt for the public, the press, and elected officials who dared to stand in their way.” Joel Engardio, a gay man who ran for supervisor last year and opposes the GGNRA plan, noted in a Facebook post last week WoofieLeaks uncovered that Park Service officials made fun of elected officials, including now-state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), also a longtime critic of the Park Service’s dog management plan. “The officials even make fun of the pro-dog stand of state senator Scott Wiener, saying he must have a ‘wiener dog,’” Engardio wrote. “I’m really proud to see my name disparaged, too! Officials called my Examiner column about the issue a ‘screed’ and sarcastically referred to it as ‘award-winning journalism.’ Actually, my column has won six

Rick Gerharter

A woman walks her dog at Crissy Field, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

journalism awards in the past two years.” On Tuesday, Engardio said it was too bad officials had to be “shamed” into acting. “The uncovered emails only show the anti-dog bias and disrespect of the public input process by the National Park Service that dog owners knew existed all along,” he said in an email to the Bay Area Reporter. “It’s too bad officials have to be shamed into following their own standards and serving the public with respect.

As one of the targets in those emails for columns I wrote in the Examiner about the dog management issue, I’m very proud of that badge of honor.” Chris Carr, a partner with Morrison & Foerster, the law firm representing dog and recreation advocacy groups, also issued a statement Tuesday. “The NPS dog management plan is plagued with legally significant See page 13 >>


Community News>>

January 12-18, 2017 • Bay Area Reporter • 9

Juice shop opening to benefit LGBT memorial compiled by Cynthia Laird


grand opening party of a new juice shop in the Castro will benefit the nearby Pink Triangle Park and Memorial that memorializes LGBT Holocaust victims. Project Juice is having its celebration Saturday, January 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 506 Castro Street. The public is welcome to attend. There will be free juice for the first 100 people through the door, then, until 2 p.m., 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Pink Triangle park. There will also be prizes, including juice and smoothie discounts, samples, and more. Project Juice is the West Coast’s rapidly growing, certified organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed juice and clean food company. The Pink Triangle Park and Memorial, located on Market Street across from the Castro Muni station, was built by the Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association and is the first permanent, free-standing memorial in America to the LGBT experience during the Nazi era. It consists of 15 granite pylons in remembrance of the estimated 15,000 LGBTs who were persecuted, imprisoned or killed during and after the Nazi regime.

Loduca joins Salesforce

7.625 in.

James Loduca, who resigned in October as senior vice president at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, has joined the San Franciscobased tech giant Salesforce as a program director in its Office of Equality. “Today I start my dream job,” Loduca, 42, said in a Facebook post Monday, January 9. “As director of

equality programs, I’ll be part of a new team working to advance racial equality, gender equality, LGBTQ equality, and access equality for people with disabilities. Our work will build on the company’s outstanding leadership in areas like equal pay, and its outspokenness in civil rights battles in Indiana, Georgia, and North Carolina. “Both Salesforce and I share a deep commitment to working to make the world better; giving back is in our DNA. ... There’s not a single person I’ve met who isn’t bursting with excitement for the company’s commitment to innovation, philanthropy, and connecting people to make the world better,” he said. In an emailed statement, Salesforce Chief Equality Officer Tony Prophet said, “James has been creating social impact initiatives for companies and causes for more than 20 years, and at Salesforce will be responsible for advocacy on equality issues, community engagement, and partnerships. He has a deep professional passion for leading coalitions and campaigns that change hearts and minds, foster resilience and advance equality. We are thrilled that James has joined the Salesforce Office of Equality team.” Loduca, who’s gay, had worked at SFAF since 2009. He was a contender to replace Scott Wiener on the city’s Board of Supervisors after Wiener, who’s also gay, won a seat in the state Senate last fall. But Mayor Ed Lee announced Friday, January 6 that he was appointing longtime AIDS activist Jeff Sheehy to the District 8 seat that Wiener had held. Salesforce declined a request 9.75 in. for Loduca’s salary information and wouldn’t make him available for a phone interview. According

Tenderloin Museum volunteer fair

Courtesy Project Juice

Workers prepare drinks at the new Project Juice in the Castro.

to SFAF’s 2014 tax documents, the most recent available, his total compensation at the nonprofit was about $252,000.

Peer advocacy program for trans people

Several organizations have joined together to offer a paid training opportunity for trans people to be peer advocates. Bloom: Transgender Community Healing Project, Peacock Rebellion, and the Transgender Law Center are launching the four-month program, which aims to train a group of 20 trans people to build a culture of safety and legal knowledge in their communities. The program is expected to start in mid-January and continue through mid-April. Specific dates weren’t available at press time. Payment will be $75 per session attended, up to $300. According to a flier, attendees will be able to serve as peer advocates to help others with identification document changes; navigate encounters with law enforcement, medical professionals, gatekeepers,

and other situations; and build community organizing skills. The program is made possible with support from the Fund for Trans Generations’ rapid response fund, housed at Borealis Philanthropy, and individual donors. For more information and the application, email

Interfaith march for MLK Day

The San Francisco Interfaith Council invites faith leaders and their congregants to join in this year’s birthday celebration for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Members of Old First Presbyterian Church will also be marching, and people can meet at the Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets at 10:30 a.m. Monday, January 16. After the march, the celebration will continue at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens, 750 Howard Street, where an interfaith commemoration ceremony will commence. Other activities are also planned. For more information, visit www.

The Tenderloin Museum will hold its annual volunteer fair Wednesday, January 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 398 Eddy Street. The event is an opportunity to hear firsthand from a select group of service nonprofits in the neighborhood and learn how people can get involved. The evening begins with a reception followed by brief presentations from the nonprofits. Participants include the nonprofit arm of Glide Memorial Church, whose mission is to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization; Project Open Hand, which provides food and meals to critically ill people and seniors; De Marillac Academy, an independent Catholic school with youth and family programs in the Tenderloin; 826 Valencia, which supports under-resourced students ages 6-18 with creative and expository writing skills; Care Through Touch Institute, a professional massage school; Larkin Street Youth Services, which provides services to youth ages 12-24; and the Gubbio Project, which provides a sacred space and sanctuary for unhoused people in need. For more information, visit

Inauguration Day sidewalk protest

The Reverend Ben Meyers, minister of the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo, has announced that church members will stand in solidarity for peace, sustainability, and social justice on Inauguration Day, January 20. He has invited the greater Peninsula community See page 13 >>


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<< Community News

10 • Bay Area Reporter • January 12-18, 2017


SF supes

From page 1

“If there was ever a time to bury our divisions, this is the time,” said Peskin, who took his fourth oath of office this week as a supervisor, having easily won re-election to a full term in November. From 2001 to 2009 Peskin held the seat representing Chinatown, North Beach, and Fisherman’s Wharf at City Hall. In 2015 he ousted Julie Christensen, who had been appointed to a vacancy earlier in the year by Mayor Ed Lee, to return to the board.

Known for his cantankerous behavior during his first stint on the board, when he also served as board president, he joked that his “Peskin 2.0” persona must be holding since he made it through last year without yelling at any of his board colleagues. The board’s ability to be collegial and find common ground will be especially necessary, predicted Peskin, during Trump’s presidency. “Housing creation and preservation will take on even greater urgency with – I am not going to say his name - taking power,” said Peskin. “People do not feel safe outside San Francisco. We have a lot of work to do and housing is only a part of it.” Returning District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee, part of the progressive minority on the board, also called for City Hall to present a united front against the policies being proposed in Washington, D.C. “With President-elect Trump in office we must stand together and make sure our values and culture in San Francisco is forever maintained,” said Yee, a new grandfather who, at the age of 67, is the oldest current board member. Gay District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, the first out HIV-positive person to serve on the board, warned that San Francisco is facing an “existential threat” from Trump and Republicans in Congress, who are already targeting immigrants, women’s rights, and LGBT rights. GOP leaders want to roll back “rights we have come to take for granted,” warned Sheehy, named by Lee last Friday to fill the seat vacated by gay state Senator Scott Wiener

Rick Gerharter

San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge Teri. L. Jackson, left, administers the oath of office to the newly elected and re-elected members and one appointee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. From left: Ahsha Safai, Hillary Ronen, Jeff Sheehy, Norman Yee, Aaron Peskin (obscured), London Breed, and Sandra Lee Fewer.

(D-San Francisco). “As we move forward, let’s not fight amongst ourselves but fight together against our common threats,” Sheehy asked of his board colleagues.

Differences remain

Despite their pleas for comity, it was clear differences still remain among the board members. With the departures over the weekend due to term limits of progressive former supervisors Eric Mar (D1), David Campos (D9) and John Avalos (D11), Peskin now finds himself a leader of the city’s progressive camp. And he made it clear, with Lee sitting next to Breed on the board dais, that he would



Jump from

From page 1

was a housewife. The couple had cut off financial support for him when he came out at the age of 22. The second oldest of six siblings – he has four brothers and one sister – he is the only gay child. “They told me they didn’t want to pay for that lifestyle,” recalled Sheehy of his parents, who are now both deceased, in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter Monday night, his first in-depth interview since being named to the board last Friday, January 6. Sheehy, 59, who was raised Catholic and attended his first public school when he enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, where

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Bay Reporter.indd 1

9/30/16 10:24 AM

continue to push to rein in the interests of “corporadoes” at City Hall. He called out in particular the need for “common sense regulation” on short-term rental companies like Airbnb and policies to promote the construction of housing not only for the homeless but families and others priced out of the city. “Yes, it will mean a little less profit for developers, but I am sure they will get by,” said Peskin. And Supervisor Hillary Ronen, succeeding her former boss Campos to become the first woman to represent the Mission district and Bernal Heights at City Hall, vowed to continue to be a progressive voice on the board in the mold of the trio of termed out supervisors. he graduated with a B.A. in history, did later reconcile with his parents. They had an “accepting relationship,” he said, “as long as I wasn’t bringing boyfriends home.” Having first moved to San Francisco in 1988, Sheehy joked it was “probably better” for his father that he was in Japan when the elder Sheehy first ran for mayor of Waco. His father didn’t have to explain why his son had moved west, and the local media never knew he had a gay son. Sheehy had first moved to Los Angeles to be with a boyfriend, and when the relationship failed, he relocated to the Bay Area, crashing with a friend from college. Nearly 18 years ago he met his now husband, Bill Berry, and in 2004 they bought a home in Glen Park, where they are raising their daughter, Michelle Berry, who attends San Francisco public schools. At the news conference last week where Lee introduced the new supervisor for the gay Castro district, as well as Noe Valley, Diamond Heights and Glen Park, Sheehy said the mayor “didn’t appoint a person, he appointed a family.” He explained to the B.A.R. that his becoming the supervisor “involves sacrifices for all of us.” Berry is not just his husband, he added, but his “most trusted adviser, confidante, and best friend,” while his daughter “is a wealth of wisdom that only children can provide.” Berry, a transaction coordinator for Zephyr Real Estate, told reporters last week that his husband “is tough as nails” and that he “cannot be bought and he can’t be broken.” Asked during the interview with the B.A.R. about how independent he feels he can be as a mayoral appointee, Sheehy said, “I certainly feel I need to be respectful of the mayor’s decision.” But he also intends to be a supervisor focused on the needs of his district – at Tuesday’s board meeting he called for a hearing to address the car break-ins and home burglaries that are on the rise in the city and especially in District 8 – and he has said his decisions will not be based on a desire to run for higher office. “I aim to do the best I can. I am not here to serve because I want to go to Sacramento or D.C. or run for another room in City Hall,” said Sheehy,


“I will continue the fight you have been leading the last eight years,” said Ronen, who noted that the night of her election in November was not the “jubilant moment” she had expected it to be due to Trump’s victory. Nonetheless, Ronen vowed to continue the work she has been focused on the past 15 years to “shift power and wealth from the ultra rich and corporations alike” to women, immigrants, and the LGBT community. “We have an opportunity to advance this agenda more in this era than before,” she said. Former school board member Sandra Lee Fewer, who succeeded Mar as the first woman elected to represent the Richmond district, pledged to focus on issues of affordability and livability, especially for senior residents. “This is time for unity,” said Fewer, seen as part of the progressive camp on the board. Freshman District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai, like Sheehy the father of a public school student, said education issues would be a top concern of his, as would be the plight of working families, many of whom live in the Excelsior and Outer Mission neighborhoods he now represents. Part of the moderate majority, Safai signaled how the new board members are likely to find common issues to work on despite with which political camp their allegiances lie. “Everything I do on this board,” said Safai, will be done to help working families and working people, “particularly when it comes to housing policies.”t who potentially could serve for 10 years in the seat should he be elected to four-year terms in 2018 and again in 2022. “I really care about our neighborhoods that make up this district.” Another issue Sheehy is already addressing is how the county jails house and treat transgender inmates. On Sunday he spoke to Sheriff Vicki Hennessey about the status of the changes she has vowed to implement and, on Tuesday, he announced he had sent a formal letter of inquiry regarding the matter. “Some will say this subject is complicated, but our values are simple. San Francisco must treat every individual in custody with dignity and respect regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Sheehy during the board’s meeting. “It is critical for the public to know where the policy stands.” He also introduced a resolution that calls on Congress not to repeal the Affordable Care Act and called for a hearing on federal health issues and funding, a matter Sheehy has vowed to be a vocal advocate for while on the board. “I am aware Mayor Lee is already at the forefront on this issue and has reached out to a number of mayors on this issue,” said Sheehy, noting the mayor has already held roundtable talks with city department heads about the potential loss of federal health dollars. “This hearing is an opportunity to talk about this work in a public forum.”

Sheehy known for independent streak

In selecting Sheehy for the board vacancy, Lee picked an astute political operative with experience running campaigns as well as championing groundbreaking policies. He also chose someone who has moved from being a progressive leader to more moderate in his views. Sheehy’s advocacy in the late 1990s for San Francisco to adopt an equal benefits ordinance, which resulted in a boycott of United Airlines, led to companies with city contracts having to offer the same benefits to their LGBT employees as they did for their heterosexual hires. As the HIV policy adviser to See page 13 >>


Community News>>

January 12-18, 2017 • Bay Area Reporter • 11

Most younger gay men seek monogamy, study suggests by Michael Nugent


uch higher numbers of younger gay men are seeking monogamy than previous generations, according to a new study. Eighty-six percent of gay men ages 18-40 reported being in a monogamous relationship and 90 percent of single gay men in the same age group are seeking monogamy, according to the nationwide study “Choices: Perspectives of Younger Gay Men on Monogamy, Non-monogamy and Marriage.” “This is a sea change compared to older generations of gay men (where 30-50 percent of relationships are monogamous),” report study authors Lanz Lowen and Blake Spears. Lowen, 63, an executive leadership coach, and Spears, 65, the founder and principal of InSight Healthcare, are independent researchers. They became interested in exploring this topic though their own relationship. “The catalyst for both studies was our experience as a long-term gay couple. We had been together in a non-monogamous relationship for 36 years and were curious about the experience of others,” said Lowen. After writing a study of longterm non-monogamous couples


called “Beyond Monogamy,” which included almost exclusively gay men over 50, they turned their focus to the experiences of gay men under 40 with monogamy and non-monogamy. A call was distributed through Facebook that drew responses nationally from a wide array of gay men in both urban and rural environments. The study is both quantitative (576 respondents) and qualitative (222 respondents), according to Lowen. Lowen and Spears were fascinated by the results. “The big shift toward monogamy surprised us – we weren’t expecting to find that. This was true of both couples and singles. We were also moved by the consciousness and deliberateness of many of the monogamous couples in choosing to live monogamously,” said Lowen. Lowen and Spears attribute this to multiple factors. As younger gay men utilize the right to marry and live under increasing societal acceptance, adopting to mainstream norms has become more possible than before. “Younger gay men are coming out sooner and have less experience of ‘closeted sex’ or to develop the sexual patterns of previous

Lanz Lowen

Blake Spears

generations where a great deal of emphasis was put on sex,” wrote Lowen and Spears. “One way to think about this is that younger gay men come to terms with their sexual orientation much earlier and get to experience their age appropriate adolescence as gay men.” Attempts to seek comments from study participants were unsuccessful. Other findings of the extensive study included the dynamics of both types of relationships and perceptions of marriage.

Monogamous respondents reported higher satisfaction with sex with their partners compared with non-monogamous, at 83 percent to 71 percent, respectively. Monogamous respondents also reported having sex with their partners more often, with 73 percent reporting at least once per week, compared with just 51 percent for non-monogamous respondents. The top benefit of monogamy gay men reported was that it encourages trust, connection, and closeness. The top benefit of non-monogamy

reported was the variety of partners. Openness to non-monogamy decreases for younger age groups. While 44 percent of gay men ages 26-40 would consider exploring non-monogamy, only 29 percent ages 18-25 would. Marriage is seen as the natural progression for gay men in longterm relationships by about twothirds of all respondents. Lowen also shared how little research has been done on this topic. “To our knowledge, there are a few anecdotal articles and lots of opinions about gay monogamy, but no studies. Consequently, one of the findings was that monogamous couples felt ‘invisible,’” said Lowen. “We think there is something very validating in this study for monogamous couples. It describes relationships where monogamy was entered very consciously and is focused on as a goal that requires work and attention,” said Lowen. “Hearing from these couples may be inspiring and informative to others and certainly validating of the existence of healthy monogamous relationships in the gay community.”t For more information or to download the study, go to http://www.

SF progressives

From page 6

Health care was also a big topic. Many hands went up when Susannah Delano of Planned Parenthood’s NorCal Action Fund asked the crowd if they knew anyone with breast cancer. “Ninety-eight percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are preventative,” she said. “We provide breast cancer and STD services. [House Speaker] Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) wants to defund Planned Parenthood – they’re going after Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. We’ve seen what happens in Texas and Wisconsin when funding is cut. Health centers close. There are no HIV or STD tests.” Delano added that on November 9, the day after the election, she went to work and will continue to do so, “as we have for 100 years,” she said, referring to the agency celebrating its centennial last October. Union leader Ramses TeonNichols said that he was anticipating attacks on labor in addition to the attempts to defund the ACA and other safety net programs. “There will be a rally in support of the ACA at SF General Hospital on January 20,” he said, inviting people to come out and show support. Jobs With Justice is planning weekly rallies at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital every Tuesday, he said. “This is possibly the richest city in the history of civilization,” said 48 Hills editor Tim Redmond, referring to the influx of money from the tech industry. He spoke of an elderly disabled man who was about to become homeless because his rent exceeded his income. “For us to say that we don’t have $200 a month to keep a 72-year-old man in his home is insane. We have 12-13 billionaires in this city who will do very well under Trump.” Redmond noted the possible loss of federal funding due to San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city. “In San Francisco we are going to look at ways to make up for that revenue by taking the money for those who will do well under Trump,” he said amid applause and cheering. Priya Sen of the January 21 Women’s March said people need to fight against misogyny. “This patriarchal system is unfair and unjust,” said Sen. “We are going to tell Trump that we are not going to tolerate his hate-filled rhetoric.” See page 14 >>

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<< Sports

12 • Bay Area Reporter • January 12-18, 2017

David James Mattingly David James Mattingly, 64, following a life of courage, pluck and conviction, died of melanoma in Palm Springs, California on November 18, 2016. Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1952, David was preceded in death by his loving parents Mary Laura “Sis” and George Mattingly, a World War II vet, and younger brother Mark. During childhood, David’s parents imposed a mandatory dinner hour —— his Dad’s unmistakable whistle commanding the start of the meal, phones and t.v. unplugged — — a nightly theatre of excited talk, intense opinions, raucous fun, and always imbued with love. This family s etting had a searing impact on David’s worldview, forming tastes that were decidedly catholic throughout his life. He is survived by his sister Susan Mattingly of Louisville, sister Marilyn Mattingly of Virginia Beach, Virginia and brother Mike of Louisville. Marilyn was a tower of strength during his last days and -- gratefully -- her caregiving did little to interfere with her much loved 17 daily shopping trips. Her familial love in a time of need was exemplary. David had a life-long soft spot in his heart for Susan, while Mike filled the role of big brother with aplomb. At the time of his death, David had eight nephews, the terrific wives and a husband of three of those nephews, 11 great nieces and nephews, goddaughter Lily, two godsons and his beloved shih tzu, Ollie. David had two long term partners, one an exuberant cowboy raised on the central coast of California, the other a cerebral Cornell educated architect. With a gift for friendship — and of gab — David is also survived by treasured friends Ted, Kendrick, Carol, Steve, Joe, Cindy, Scott/ Rich, Greg, Robin, Rachel, Oliver and so many others. He also leaves behind many loving cousins, especially Tommy and Jan Burnett, whose strong and steady presence brought David great comfort during his illness. David attended St. Pius X Grade School and St. Xavier High School, both in Louisville. In 1974, he received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Fresh out of college, David’s first job was as a legislative analyst on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to Congressman Ron Mazzoli. There, he was a witness to history, including Watergate, Nixon’s resignation from the Presidency and the end of the Vietnam War. David settled in San Francisco in the late ‘70s, doing paralegal work for the international firms of McCutchen and MoFo, the San Francisco City Attorney and clerked for Judge Orrick of the U.S. District Court. In those early days, David stood with Harvey Milk and his merry band of men who gave voice to gay liberation. David was a more than three decade resident of foggy, magical San Francisco before he retired to the warm desert air of Palm Springs. In 1984, David was awarded his law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Following several years doing corporate health care law, David found in San Francisco his true calling as a civil litigator. He won substantial jury awards and settlements, and as a trial lawyer was able to obtain relief for clients without the means to access the courts. (He had some hair-raising losses, too!) He tried cases against large corporate interests for discrimination, harassment, clergy abuse, concealment of toxic hazards, and business and contract fraud. At times he received kudos for work on oral argument and cross-examination, and for mastery of artfully crafted and persuasive briefs. David had an abundance of passions: the world of politics, avid reading with an especial penchant for American and English novels, history, and biographies of the famous and infamous. David was a decades long collector of art, particularly paintings and sculpture by emerging young artists. A colorist by nature, his provocative yet savvy collection never failed to evoke strong opinions. He was an enthusiastic swimmer over countless years, and a keen-eyed stock market maven. Finally, David was an intrepid traveler who stepped foot on six of the seven continents (hey Rich!), 56 countries, 48 of the 50 states (sorry North Dakota and Vermont). Always eager for new things, David traveled through the vast stretches of the Patagonia (hey Joe ! ), out of the way spots in Africa including the ever transcendent Serengeti plains, and was one of the first Westerners permitted into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square after the 1989 Massacre. He climbed into the Giza Pyramids and on the Parthenon before such access was eventually denied the public. David walked miles — his favorite mode of transport — through Tokyo, Sydney, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Moscow, Cairo, Nairobi, Capetown, Paris, Jerusalem, Istanbul, and the other great metropolises spanning the globe. Yearning for more, David lived for several years near Kensington Palace in London. A celebration of David’s zest for life will be held in San Francisco on Saturday, February 4th 2017 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Greg Lind Gallery, 49 Geary Street, Fifth Floor [Directions only:]. Space and attendance are limited; confirmation is required by January 25. Call Joseph J. Bell [530-272-7477 or 800-576-7477] or email to: attorney@bellslaw. com. Suggested parking at Union Square or Sutter-Stockton garages.


Poz wrestler in legal limbo by Roger Brigham


espite having his conviction for intentionally infecting another man with HIV thrown out by a court of appeals last month, wrestler Michael Johnson remains in legal limbo as prosecutors seem hell-bent to extract every ounce of penalty they can from the state’s draconian and antiquated statutes. A panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals in December overturned Johnson’s conviction for knowingly infecting one man with HIV and endangering four other sexual partners, saying that the prosecution had engaged in a “a trial-by-ambush strategy” by waiting until the last minute to reveal key evidence. Activists have been working behind the scenes for Johnson, but over the weekend outgoing Governor Jay Nixon declined to offer Johnson clemency, and St. Charles County prosecutors fought to have the appellate panel’s decision overturned. If successful, the move by county prosecutors would reinstate a 30year prison sentence under a penal code HIV activists call barbaric and counter to public welfare (See January 23, 2014 JockTalk). Under Missouri laws, written decades ago when fear and ignorance plagued public fears regarding HIV and AIDS, it is a crime for an HIVpositive person to knowingly have unprotected sex. Repeated calls to the county prosecutor’s office were not immediately returned. Johnson, a former national junior college wrestling champion who was then wrestling for Lindenwold University in St. Louis, was arrested in October 2013 on allegations he had had unprotected sex

Michael Johnson

with several partners and lied about his status. He was convicted of one count of recklessly infecting another with HIV, as well as four counts of exposing or trying to expose others and sentenced to concurrent 30-year prison terms. Health professionals have been telling us since the 1980s not to accept the risk of unprotected sex without certain knowledge of your partner’s HIV status. Don’t assume he is negative just because he looks healthy or says he’s not infected. The antiquated laws under which Johnson was convicted spit in the face of that good sense. They infantilize and enable the hapless souls that do not assume responsibility for their own actions and who blame others for what they encounter. And this is not just the case in Missouri. According to the Center for HIV Law and Policy, “People are being imprisoned for decades, and in many cases have to register as sex offenders, as a consequence of


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exaggerated fears about HIV. Most of these cases involve consensual sex or conduct such as spitting and biting that has only a remote possibility of HIV exposure. For example, a number of states have laws that make it a felony for someone who has had a positive HIV test to spit on or touch another person with blood or saliva.” Activists also note that the cases adhere to the pattern seen in the Johnson case: poor African-American individuals end up in prison while white sexual partners remain free and with greater access to AIDS treatments and education. If county prosecutors are successful in having the conviction reinstated or hold a new trial with a new conviction, they will be flying in the face of virtually every human rights organization concerned about laws criminalizing HIV, from Athlete Ally to the National Center for Lesbian Rights. A friend of the court paper filed by CHLP and co-signed by dozens of other organizations during the trial, said the organizations had “from a variety of different perspectives, provided medical, mental health, social, and advocacy services for those who suffer discrimination; each believes that an approach rooted in research, science, and objective facts is the best way to counter prejudice and end the HIV epidemic. HIV-specific criminal laws like the one used to punish Mr. Johnson take the opposite approach – they are based in an outdated understanding of HIV and reflect invidious discrimination against people living with HIV. Amici thus join here to respectfully ask this court to apply reason, objective fact, and established constitutional and statutory law to overturn Mr. Johnson’s unjust sentence.” A friend of mine, fellow wrestler See page 14 >>

Obituaries >> Emerald O’Leary September 8, 1947 – December 19, 2016 Emerald O’Leary (aka Mary Anderson) of San Francisco, formerly of Ireland and London, passed away December 19 at Laguna Honda Hospice after a more than five-year battle with metastatic cancer of the breast and bone. O’Leary was an accomplished artist, actor, poet, writer, and executive assistant during her 28 years in San Francisco. Born September 8, 1947 in London to Irish-born Molly O’Leary and an Irishman named Walsh who had another family, her mother scrambled to conceal that she was “illegitimate” as they said at the time (or more commonly, “a bastard”), by calling her Mary Anderson. Molly O’Leary then changed her own name to Anderson as to appear married. As a child she lived with her mother, a civil servant, in Brixton until she was 12, when they moved to Dublin. In high school Mary got a job as a reporter at the Irish Independent, and continued to work as a journalist off and on for much of her life. In 1970 she was one of 12 women to found the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement, and one of two women whose legal action forced the Irish government to change the law to include women on juries. She was also very involved in the push to make contraception legal for women in Ireland. In her 30s she left Ireland to join a traveling theater troupe in Fort Worth, Texas. There she took the stage name Emerald O’Leary and made it legal and permanent shortly after. She soon moved to New York where she did some stage work and also found employment with the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. She came to San Francisco in 1989, appeared in several small theater productions, wrote poetry, sold a few paintings, worked for UCSF and other institutions, and eventually joined City of Refuge UCC Church, originally of San Francisco but now located in Oakland. Her memorial service will be January 14 at 1 p.m. at City of Refuge, 8400 Enterprise Way in Oakland.

t <<

Community News>>

Milk Plaza

From page 1

be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 25 at the recreation center. Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza has chosen the American Institute of Architects-San Francisco to oversee an international design competition. The organization plans to release in February a brief that includes community feedback, city guidelines, and other details. “We’re really excited about the plaza growing into what we could call an outdoor museum,” Aiello said. “That’s really what I envision, something that is really inspiring, but at the same time informative and educational” that provides insight “about the legacy of Harvey Milk and about LGBT rights and human rights. ... We could really make the plaza into something that is a destination and really honors the space for what it is. It’s sacred ground for LGBT rights and inspires people, so I’m not sure really what that’s going to look like. That’s why we’re having a competition.” Milk, who started in the


Dog plan

From page 8

procedural irregularities,” Carr stated. “The deliberate destruction of public records, failing ‘recollections’ of computer passwords necessary to access years of documents, and the use of private emails by NPS personnel have revealed a fatally flawed, fundamentally unfair, and unlawful


Guest Opinion

From page 4

“win-ability” – then our community would be self-defeating one of our most promising champions. Low is not the only “gaysian” that has the skills and personality to be a standout leader but is held back by unspoken assumptions and bias. There are many political and civic leaders in San Francisco and across the country who could be powerful champions and advocates, if they were only counted and supported by their own community. In Congress, Representative Mark


News Briefs

From page 9

and other interested people to join in a peaceful protest from noon to 1 p.m. along El Camino Real, from San Francisco to San Jose. “If you are concerned about the rhetoric and proposed policies of the incoming administration, you are encouraged to come out and show that as a community we will stand our ground and fight for tolerance, decency, economic justice, and democracy in our country,” Meyers said in a news release. Protesters can come by themselves or with groups; they can carry their organization’s banner or signs indicating their primary concerns. “Be direct,” Meyers said, “but please, no hateful or violent language. Don’t block driveways, street crossings, or traffic.” For more information, visit www.


Jump from

From page 10

former mayor Gavin Newsom, Sheehy routinely wrangled with Jeffrey Klausner, the city’s former public health official in charge of prevention and care for sexually transmitted diseases. Their public feud over gay men’s use of erectile dysfunction drugs led Sheehy to tell the B.A.R. in 2005 that “Jeff Klausner wants the dicks of people with HIV in his back pocket and he wants us to ask him permission to

January 12-18, 2017 • Bay Area Reporter • 13

be a fitting tribute to Harvey Milk and to our entire community, and it needs to be more useable. I’m happy there is some initial money to get the project going, in addition to a strong community desire to see change.” In Aiello’s news release, Cassin, a longtime AIDS activist and one of the project’s earliest advocates, said, “This is an opportunity of a lifetime to acknowledge Harvey Milk Plaza for the sacred place it is and the role it has played in the history of the LGBT civil rights movement.” Cleve Jones, a gay Castro resident who was a confidante of Milk’s, said in the news release that he’s “excited to work with Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza, and to honor Harvey and the plaza in his name in a way that makes us proud.” Jennifer Jones, executive director of American Institute of ArchitectsSan Francisco, said in a brief call Tuesday, “We’re really excited to create a great place for San Franciscans to be able to gather and to create a gateway to the Castro, and a place that recognizes Harvey’s contributions to the city and everyone dwelling within it.”t

The plaza, where Milk famously used his megaphone to rally the community to fight for civil rights, has long vexed neighborhood leaders since it first opened nearly four decades ago. Its design has been derided as uninviting with poorly laid out spaces little used other than by smokers or homeless people. Over the years various ideas have been touted to improve the plaza. In 2000 artists wanted to float a pink cloud over it, an idea that never got off the ground. A decade later the CBD presented plans to install benches to the walkway on the top level of the plaza in order to meet demands from the public for outdoor seating in the city’s gayborhood. The colorful benches were ripped out two years later amid complaints they attracted

homeless people and transient youth. Aiello said this week that the architects’ announcement would address “the challenges for the space,” which continue to include homeless people using it as a place to sleep. “There are strategies that can be done that discourage or encourage” different uses, and with the upcoming brief, designers will be able to “keep those things in mind” as they make their proposals, she said. Transit officials were already set to add a second elevator at the Muni station before Aiello announced the charettes this week. The project, which is expected to cost millions of dollars to complete, may be done in phases, she said. Phase 1, which might cost $2 million, she said as an example, “will be designed in such a way that it stands alone and doesn’t look unfinished.” If that’s all the money that’s been raised by the time the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency starts construction, it “will be implemented,” Aiello said. Citing estimates from San Francisco Public Works, she said that if improvements, including raising the

ground-level garden to street level and using all the space from Castro Street to Collingwood Street for the garden were made, the cost could be from $8 million to $10 million. Initial meetings in recent months have taken place with volunteer community leader Gregg Cassin, CBD representatives, Castro Merchants, representatives from Wiener’s former supervisor’s office, the Horizons Foundation, and the GLBT Historical Society. Aiello has chaired the meetings.

decision making process. It’s unfortunate that it took a lawsuit to force the belated disclosure of emails that reveal just how biased and unlawful the GGNRA’s dog management planning process has been. We fully expect the next director of the NPS will not allow this travesty to recur under his or her watch, if the rulemaking goes forward at all.” Congresswoman Jackie Speier

(D-San Francisco/San Mateo) on Tuesday called for the Department of the Interior’s inspector general to conduct an inquiry into what she called “improper and potentially illegal actions by the Park Service.” “I am shocked, but unfortunately not surprised, to find out the leadership of the GGNRA conspired to mobilize opposition to counter the voices of citizens with whom they

disagreed,” Speier said in a statement. In its release, the Park Service said that an independent inquiry would be conducted to determine whether personal email was used in a manner not consistent with applicable laws and policies and if so, whether its use affected the planning and rulemaking processes. The Park Service said it would make the findings of its investigation public

and that the inquiry would be conducted by Park Service personnel who were not involved in the dog management planning process. Speier said she called on the IG to conduct an independent review because an internal inquiry staffed by Park Service employees cannot be truly independent as the Park Service claims.t

Takano (D-Riverside) is the first and only LGBT API who serves in the House of Representatives. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) identified Takano as one of the top Democratic “pick up” seats when he first ran for office. In the Georgia Assembly, Sam Park (D) joins Low of California as the only two state elected legislative representatives in the entire country. But even in a city as progressive as San Francisco, we have elected only one LGBT Asian Pacific Islander to the City College Board of Trustees, and he no longer serves on the body. It is worth noting that Georgia, in the center of the

conservative South, has elected an LGBT Asian Pacific Islander, while a city as progressive as San Francisco has never elected an LGBT Asian Pacific Islander to the Board of Supervisors or executive branch. As a community we should be building a pipeline for the future to encourage and support LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander electeds. Prior electeds such as Lawrence Wong, who served on the City College board, and current officeholders such Robert Bernardo (San Mateo County Harbor Commission) and Gabriel Quinto (El Cerrito City Council) have built the foundation

for this tremendous work, and their efforts should be continued by future generations. Within the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, we have built support groups such as Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, which work with local and national groups to advance and educate the community on upcoming issues and to help develop future leaders, but there is still a lack of support for developing candidates who wish to seek public office. There are many Asian Americans who are employed in government and politics but few who actually

seek and run for elected office. It is time for San Francisco’s LGBT community to also look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are suffocating our best talent and future leaders with dangerous bias and unfounded perceptions.t

EQCAI seeks applicants for leadership academy

For the northern California cohort, applications will be accepted from residents of the following counties: San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Monterey. The deadline to apply is 6 p.m. Saturday, January 21. Participant selection is scheduled for Friday, February 17. For more information and the application, visit http://www.eqca. org/eqcai-leadership-academy/.

Organizers said that interviews with LGBTQ elders often provide the only real record of aspects of everyday life in decades gone by, particularly for those from underrepresented groups. The project will offer numerous volunteer opportunities, from conducting interviews and researching background histories to providing technical assistance or offering general support. For more information, visit

Historical society to revive LGBTQ oral history project

The GLBT Historical Society is relaunching its oral history project, an initiative to record interviews with community elders who share their recollections of the LGBTQ past. There will be a volunteer orientation Wednesday, February 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th Street in San Francisco.

Public health departments around the Bay Area have announced that influenza activity is increasing and has reached “widespread” levels. Areas with the most influenza activity in the state include the Bay Area. The San Francisco Department of Public Health issued a news release last week in which Health Officer Dr. Tomas Aragon recommends that all individuals 6 months of age and

older be vaccinated against influenza. “Influenza vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you and your family from the flu,” Aragon stated. “It’s not too late to get vaccinated.” In addition to getting the vaccine, health officials advise people to take the following steps to protect themselves and loved ones from influenza: cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue (if you don’t have a tissue, use your elbow); avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcoholbased hand sanitizer; stay home when you’re sick and stay home until you are symptom-free for 24 hours. For more information about the flu, visit http://www.cdph. Influenza(Flu).aspx. To find a flu vaccine at a location near you, visit

leadership for our community,” said Terry Beswick, a gay, HIV-positive Castro resident who was once an assistant editor at the B.A.R. and now serves as executive director of the GLBT Historical Society. “He is courageous and unpredictable. He has his own opinions but collects the facts and makes a decision.” Rather than painting Sheehy as either a moderate or a progressive, Beswick called him a “pragmatist.” He is hopeful the new supervisor will be supportive of efforts to preserve the LGBT community’s

historic sites in the city and assist in efforts to build a new LGBT museum to celebrate that history. “The bottom line for me is he has balls,” said Beswick. San Francisco Housing Action Coalition Executive Director Todd David, who lives with his wife, Tiffany Loewenberg, and their children in Noe Valley, has known Sheehy for eight years having met through the public school lobbying group San Francisco Parent PAC. He too expects Sheehy to be an independent voice on the board.

neighborhood as a camera shop owner and in 1977 became the city’s first gay elected official, was assassinated along with then-Mayor George Moscone in City Hall in 1978.

Years of problems

The Equality California Institute, the advocacy and education arm of the statewide LGBT lobbying organization, is accepting applications for its leadership academy, an innovative program to train the next generation of LGBT leaders in the Golden State. According to the website, the academy will prepare 25-30 LGBT leaders in southern California, northern California, and the Central Valley with a proven record of significant accomplishments in their careers, to seek appointments to state and municipal boards and commissions, as well as corporate boards of directors. The upcoming northern California cohort, scheduled to begin in early March, includes a two-day training provided by current elected and appointed public officials and EQCAI staff, and each participant will be matched with a public official who will serve as a mentor to them throughout the program year. use it. And I am not giving him my dick.” Last summer Sheehy accused District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim of not understanding “what’s going on with people who have HIV and AIDS” due to a budget fight over funding the city’s Getting to Zero initiative, which Sheehy helped launch and aims to end HIV transmission in San Francisco by 2020. Friends of Sheehy said they expect he will continue to speak his mind now that he is on the board. “He has a long history of strong

‘Broken plaza’

Wiener was the city supervisor for District 8, which includes the Castro, before being elected to the Senate in November. In a Tuesday, January 10 interview, he said that “a few years ago,” he and Aiello convened a working group to start talking about the plaza’s future, and the work has continued. “Harvey Milk Plaza is a broken plaza,” Wiener said. “The design does not work in terms of community use. ... It needs to be redesigned. It needs to be improved. This plaza should

Health officials issue flu update

Benjamin Leong is a local San Franciscan working on social advocacy and focusing on issues for the LGBT Asian and Pacific Islanders community. He has served on the boards of API Wellness Center, Rainbow Honor Walk, Gay Asian Pacific Alliance, Stop AIDS Project, and other nonprofit organizations.

Seth Hemmelgarn contributed reporting.

“He will tell you exactly what he is thinking. He does not speak to the crowd,” said David, who serves as the political action committee’s treasurer. “He has a reasoned, thoughtful response. He is not influenced by the last person who spoke to him.” Gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), whose election in November led to the board vacancy, said the mayor had found an “unbelievably passionate, driven, and tenacious” person to succeed him. “I just know he is going to do incredible work on the board,” said Wiener.t

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

14 • Bay Area Reporter • January 12-18, 2017


Jump from

From page 6

up placards with screen shots of Trump’s tweets. Marling pointed to a November 22 posting on Twitter’s official blog in which the company said it would not allow law enforcement agencies to use Twitter for surveillance purposes. “Recent reports about Twitter data being used for surveillance have caused us great concern,” wrote Twitter’s Chris Moody. “As a company, our commitment to social justice is core to our mission and well established. And our policies in this area are long-standing. Using Twitter’s Public APIs or data products to track or profile protesters and activists is absolutely unacceptable and prohibited.” (He was referring to techniques that allow users to search Twitter.) Moody added that “appropriate


Police tips

From page 3

Carey said that an upcoming selfdefense class is already fully booked but additional classes are planned. He suggested people check the Stop the Violence SF Facebook page for updates. City College also offers self-defense classes, according to San Francisco Safety Awareness for Everyone, or SF SAFE. A CCOP volunteer training is set for January 21, Carey said. A number of panelists urged the audience to learn to become “good” witnesses, if they observe a crime in progress. Ewins said witnesses should try to remember details “head to toe.” A criminal may change clothes, so details such as their shoes, facial hair, and tattoos are especially important features to remember, she said. Chaplin urged the audience to use their cellphone cameras to photograph crimes in progress, if possible. Chaplin said that most phones allow users to access the camera even when the phone is locked. Camera footage


SF progressives

From page 11

She said that the upcoming march, which takes place in Washington, D.C. and in cities around the country, including San Francisco, isn’t just for women. “Action speak louder than words,” she said. “This is a march for women but we need male allies.”

Speaking out

During the meeting’s public comments period, many people stood up and reiterated the thoughts of the speakers, though one man cautioned activists to be mindful of how they present themselves. “This is a spiritual moment, in addition to a social and political moment,” said Maggid Jonathan Furst of Keneset HaLev (Community of


Jock Talk

From page 12

Akil Patterson, is one of those who have worked in the background on Johnson’s behalf and done much to provide him with spiritual counseling. “As friends and advocates for Michael Johnson have grown, we are tasked with supporting him first as a human and then secondly as a person living with HIV while

action” would be taken against those who violate the policy, which could include suspension and termination of accounts. Protesters praised the social media service, but warned people could be endangered by Trump’s use of it. “Twitter has been and in some ways still is a voice of the people,” said Marling. “I only worry that it is also putting those same people in danger by not banning @ realDonaldTrump.” Protesters lay on the ground as though dead for about two minutes in order to demonstrate the loss of life from nuclear weapons. After rising, Marlin led the protesters in a series of chants: “Honor your policies, ban Donald Trump,” was one. “Stop World War, Ban Donald Trump,” was another. “This is a moment when everything we do matters,” protester Xochitl Johnson, 49, told the Bay Area

Reporter. “If we come together in the millions we can stop this.” Johnson added that in spite of family and work obligations she intends to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in Inauguration Day protests. “Twitter has to decide if it is a social media company for the people or for fascists to suppress the people,” said Marling. “Twitter is a private company, and Trump’s tweets are not free speech. Twitter profits off them, at least in the short term.” Twitter, which went public in 2013, has seen its stock price plummet. On Tuesday the stock closed at $17.37. The company has also been in the midst of an executive shakeup, with the departure of several top employees. At press time, Trump was continuing to Tweet regularly. Twitter did not respond to the B.A.R.’s request for a comment.t

has helped police to make arrests and solve crimes, he said. An audience member, who did not introduce himself, described a recent incident at 24-Hour Fitness where a man, fully clothed, came into the showers and told a handful of men they were “disgusting.” “There would have to be more proof ” of intent for such an act to be considered a hate crime, Ewins said. But she urged people to report such situations to the police so that if this man were apprehended for other crimes in the future, there would be a record of his past behavior. Castro Merchants President Daniel Bergerac pointed out that nonemergency calls to the police can take a long time to answer and to respond. “There has to be a better system,” he said. Ewins urged residents to call 911 if they suspect a situation is “escalating” to get an immediate response. If the problem is a homeless person sleeping in a doorway or someone who “just looks suspicious,” a call to the non-emergency number is appropriate, she said.

Bergerac argued that it could be “beyond the scope” of an untrained citizen to determine if a situation is escalating. Ewins responded that if a caller feels threatened, they should be sure to let the dispatcher know that the incident has “gone beyond” simply name calling. Crime victims must be “assertive enough” to press charges, and if they believe it is a hate crime, say so, said Ewins. Victims of hate crimes are protected by confidentiality laws and their identity will be secure, a protection also afforded to victims of domestic or sexual violence, she added.t For more information on the CCOP volunteer training, visit patrol-volunteer-basic-trainingclass-056-tickets-29490723548. Advance registration is required; there is no cost to attend. For the Stop the Violence Facebook page, visit www.facebook. com/StopTheViolenceSF/.

the Heart), a progressive and inclusive Jewish community in San Francisco. “Fundamental change requires engaging people on the levels of the heart, mind, and soul. That means we must be discerning with our words and symbols. Putting swastikas on signs because of what we perceive as fascism puts more swastikas into the world – this puts more swastikas into people’s minds. It does the white supremacists’ work for them.” Furst told the Bay Area Reporter that he’s seen many swastikas at progressive events. “Most recently at the elector actions,” he said, referring to protests when the Electoral College met last month. “They were on many anti-Trump and anti-fascism signs.” Fliers were handed out for a variety of planned events. Bay Area Dump Trump will be holding two marches on Inauguration Day. An

8 a.m. march is set to begin at Justin Herman Plaza. Protesters plan to march to Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and other corporations they say are supportive of Trump. The group will also be holding a noontime rally and alternative concert at 555 California Street, a building partially owned by Trump. There will also be a 5 p.m. rally at Civic Center Plaza.t

in jail,” Patterson said. “My hope is that each year we apply for clemency and that we help to support the creation of a legal defense fund since so many of the national LGBT and black organizations have yet to set something like this up for our community. We hope that in the months that follow, we can create change from inside legislative offices and in the hearts and minds of people who are not currently living with HIV.”

Oakland A’s schedule 2017 Pride Night

Information on future actions will be updated at SF United Against Trump’s Facebook page at groups/sfunitedagainsttrump/. For information on Jobs With Justice actions, email kung@ For information on the Women’s March, visit womensmarchbayarea. org/join-a-march.

The Oakland A’s have chosen their Tuesday, June 6 game against the Toronto Blue Jays for their 2017 Pride Night. Purchase of special event tickets includes free parking, commemorative scarves, and a pregame party. Ticket information is available at index.jsp?c_id=oak.t



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January 12-18, 2017 • Bay Area Reporter • 15


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Vol. 47 • No. 2 • January 12-18, 2017

Courtesy the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery

Early New Year gallery roundup by Sura Wood


t’s officially winter, and baby, is it ever cold outside. But gallerywise, the year is heating up what might otherwise be a dreary season. Throw on the parka and grab the umbrella, there are places to go and things to see. See page 26 >>

Merrick Morton/A24

Deborah Oropallo, .45 (2016), photomontage, paint, paper and canvas.

Nonconformist beats the odds by David Lamble


arly on in Mike Mills’ absorbing feminist comedydrama 20th Century Women, a small group of Santa Barbara, California residents are watching a distinctly gloomy presidential sermon from the James Earl Carter White House, just before American voters handed the onetime Georgia peanut farmer his walking papers. As was so often the case in the brief Carter era, the living room is fiercely divided. A young male quips, “He is so screwed. It’s over for him!,” while a strong-willed middle-aged woman opines, “Really, I thought it was beautiful.” See page 26 >> Annette Bening and Lucas Jade Zumann in a scene from director Mike Mills’ comedy-drama 20th Century Women.


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<< Out There

18 • Bay area reporter • January 12-18, 2017


Philip Groshong

Aaron Blake as Timothy Laughlin and Joseph Lattanzi as Hawkins Fuller in the opera Fellow Travelers.

Lavender & under suspicion by Roberto Friedman

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ne of the best gay novels of recent times, made into an opera, was named in The New York Times’ end-of-year list for “The Best Classical Music of 2016.” Based on gay historical novelist Thomas Mallon’s brilliant Fellow Travelers (2007), the opera of the same name centers on a gay romance during the “Lavender Scare” of the McCarthyite 1950s in Washington, DC. It’s a mostly forgotten piece of LGBT history that takes on new relevance as we enter a new reactionary – not “conservative,” reactionary – period of American history.

After optioning the rights for Mallon’s novel, Zinsmeyer developing the opera with director Kevin Newbury, commissioning Gregory Spears to compose the opera and Gregory Pierce to write the libretto. Fellow Travelers was workshopped at the Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati’s CollegeConservatory of Music under Opera Fusion: New Works, a program funded by the Mellon Foundation. The piece was so well received that the Cincinnati Opera offered to co-produce. Its honor by the NY Times is a great win for the LGBTQ community. Mallon’s novels based on recent American history also include Dewey Defeats Truman (1997), Watergate: A Novel (2012) and Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years (2015), which also features a gay subplot. Of his novels Mallon writes, “I have operated along the always sliding scale of historical fiction. The texts contain deviations from fact that some readers will regard as unpardonable and others will deem unworthy of notice. But they remain works of fiction, not history.”

Water works Fellow Travelers, the modern opera conceived and developed by G. Sterling Zinsmeyer, premiered last year as part of the Cincinnati Opera’s 2016 season and received rave reviews from the press, including the Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and Opera News. The work received standing ovations at every one of its 10 soldout Cincinnati Opera performances. Zinsmeyer told the press, “There were times when it felt that this opera might never see the light of day, but our dedicated and talented creative team kept persevering. It’s wonderful to see that dedication being so universally acknowledged.”

Last Saturday night Out There & the intrepid Pepi headed out into the rainstorm to Davies Symphony Hall to hear the great San Francisco Symphony perform Leonard Bernstein’s original film score and see the immortal Marlon Brando in director Elia Kazan’s classic film On the Waterfront (screenplay by Budd Schulberg), winner of eight Academy Awards including Best Picture. The timeless story about violence, corruption, and redemption, with an Oscar-nominated score, is one of the greatest films of all time according to the American Film Institute. And we coulda been a contender! David Newman conducted the San

Charlotte Rampling and Jim Broadbent in The Sense of an Ending, coming to the Mostly British Film Festival.

Francisco Symphony in a brilliant performance. We felt like we were right there on the docks of Jersey harbor, dodging the Mob. Then back out into the wet we went.

More, mostly British The Mostly British Film Festival has announced an exciting addition to its 2017 lineup, The Sense of an Ending, based on Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prize-winning novel. The drumroll cast includes Jim Broadbent, Michele Dockery, Charlotte Rampling and Emily Mortimer. The film is about how memory plays tricks on us and the consequences of decisions made when young. Sense of an Ending will play at 7 p.m. on Mon., Feb. 20, fresh from its premiere at the Palm Springs Film Festival. Mostly British runs Feb. 16-23 at the Vogue Theater in SF. Other highlights are a tribute to The Beatles on film, featuring movies about them and A Hard Day’s Night, in which they star. The festival opens with Their Finest, about the British film industry in World War II, starring Bill Nighy, who will be at the screening and will be interviewed afterward. Tickets to this event are selling fast. Another guest of honor is famed film editor Anne V. Coates, an Oscar winner for Lawrence of Arabia and a five-time nominee who this year has been awarded a honorary Oscar, known as the Governor’s Award, by the Academy. Her remarkable career began as an assistant on The Red Shoes and continued through the recent 50 Shades of Grey. She is a great storyteller and has worked with the best, including David Lean and Steven Soderbergh. Tickets and information are at or the Vogue box office. All films will screen at the Vogue.t



January 12-18, 2017 • Bay Area Reporter • 19

Return to 27 Rue de Fleurus by Richard Dodds


here was a there there after all. It just didn’t happen to be in Oakland. The there that was there was at 27 Rue de Fleurus in Paris, where Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas held court with many of the best and brightest of the Lost Generation. Theatre Rhino’s recently staged Gertrude Stein and a Companion is a play that offers something of a genial, slim primer to those heady days and the two women whose unique relationship helped propel them. Stein coined the term “Lost Generation” to describe the confusion and aimlessness in many who had come of age during the Great War, and it was a phrase made famous by Ernest Hemingway in A Moveable Feast, in which he used it as a dig at Stein’s egotism. Stein and Toklas’ own feelings about Hemingway are a recurring topic in Win Wells’ play, even providing it with its title. Hemingway didn’t deign to refer to Toklas by name, reducing her existence in Stein’s life to “companion.” Playwright Win Wells crafted his play from the letters and writings of Stein and Toklas, augmented with imagined dialogue between the two

and occasional bursts inspired Toklas. Wood co-directed the by Stein’s “rose is a rose is a production with John Fisher, rose” style wordplay. “That is and they chose to bring in a the way I am, and I did and I third performer, perhaps to do,” says Stein in reference to add variety to a script that her own genius. “When you doesn’t provide much opporare a genius, you are privileged tunity for creative staging. and therefore nobody can do When the play debuted in anything but take care of you.” New York, the actors playing In Wells’ account, Toklas Stein and Toklas delivered achieves stature by taking care bits of dialogue in the voices of Stein, most importantly of family, friends, rivals, and by seeing to it that Stein’s reporters, and if Haley Bersingular literary style finds telsen didn’t add much by an audience and earns her taking on these lines instead, a level of the celebrity she it’s reasonable enough. The thinks her deserves. The play biggest problem with her chronicles this relationship presence was not her fault, with mundane details of their but a directorial choice to life together with occasional have her sitting to one side of namedropping that can evoke the stage lounging in a conDavid Wilson bits of bitchery. temporary chair, idly flipping The play opens in 1946, on Kathryn Wood and Elaine Jennings played Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in through pages of a magazine the day of Stein’s death, and Theatre Rhino’s recent production of Gertrude Stein and a Companion. until it was time for her to as a mourning Toklas talks to enter the action. herself, the spirit of her beThere was a suggestion of confronted the dynamics of a sameThe Rhino production at the Euloved materializes as the play an explanation in a program sex relationship in that era, either reka Theatre brought an agreeable, then shuttles through the decades note stating that portions of the for themselves or in how others modest life to what is a play of modfrom Stein’s life in Paris before she play take place in present-day San may have reacted to it. It’s basically est proportions. Kathryn Wood and met Toklas, through their years toFrancisco, though the vaguely ena non-topic, something deeper than Elaine Jennings were good company gether, and then into the long life gaged third character was more of a the playwright was interested in exas Stein and Toklas, respectively, Toklas would lead into the 1960s. strange distraction than any sort of ploring even as it would deepen the with Jennings finding more variable What the play does not do is contemporary link – if that was what skimming play. notes to play in her performance as delve into how Stein and Toklas that was.t





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<< Books

20 • Bay area reporter • January 12-18, 2017

Comic book honors Pulse victims by David-Elijah Nahmod


his past week saw the publication of an eagerly awaited one-shot comic book that honors the lives that were lost or forever impacted by the June 12, 2016 mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 49 people, most LGBT-identified and many Latino, died in what is currently the worst mass shooting in US history. More than 300 writers and illustrators contributed to Love is Love, the 144-page book that seeks to make sense of the tragedy and offer healing to the survivors, including to the families of those who were killed. All proceeds from the sales of Love is Love will go directly to Equality Florida, the state’s leading LGBT advocacy group. Equality Florida has set up a fund to benefit the families of the victims. Love is Love is a collaboration between independent comic book publisher IDW and DC Comics, owners of the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman franchises.

Mark Andreyko, a writer for DC Comics, came up with the book’s concept. Contributors include Dan Parent, who created Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character to be introduced into the Archie Comics universe.


Parent also addressed the im“I was devastated,” Parent appointing that we have rewarded a portance of projects like Love Is told the B.A.R., speaking bully and a tyrant with the highest Love. “It’s important to promote from his home in Pennsyloffice in the land,” he said. “I think vania as he recalled the moa positive message, but also to he will crash and burn at some do something that directly helps ment he first heard about point, as most narcissistic bullies do. the shooting. “Such an act victims financially,” he said. ParAll we can do is learn from this and ent’s contribution is a one-page ilof savage violence is hard to form a clear progressive alternative lustration of Kevin Keller dancing understand. All those people to struggling Americans. It’s safe in a club. “He says that you can’t are someone’s brother, sister, to say that this new administration child. It’s heartbreaking.” give in to terror,” Parent explains. isn’t LGBT-friendly.” “You can’t live in fear. I Parent addressed why he wanted to contribute tried to use a more upbeat to Love is Love. “As a approach.” person who has always Comic books, Parent stood up for equality feels, can have a powerfor all, these issues hit ful impact upon culture. home,” he said. “I believe “Comics can definitely fiercely that we should change hearts and minds,” appreciate our differhe said. “It’s a medium ences and foster them. we all know from a young We were starting to live age, so it can be an effecin an age where people tive tool in its familiarity. could be who they were. Buy the book and spread I hate to see all the progthe word! The more we ress made go away.” sell, the more good can be done!”t Parent said he doesn’t think things will go back to where they were decades Love is Love is available ago, when people were forced in comic book shops and at Amazon for $9.99. All to live in the closet, but adds proceeds from the sales that we’re in for a tough fight Comic creator Dan Parent contributed to Love of Love is Love will go to against the incoming Trump is Love. Equality Florida. administration. “It’s very dis-

Heart-warming young adult tale by Terri Schlichenmeyer

Beast by Brie Spangler, read by Andrew Eiden; Blackstone Audio, Inc. (8 1/2 hours, 7 CDs), $34.95


n its most basic description, it’s a muscle. Nothing computerized, no easy-to-follow instructions or list of parts. Nope, it’s a muscle – a dub-thumping, miraculous group

of cells that was beating when you were born, due to simple electrical activity. It’s just a muscle, although in the audiobook Beast by Brie Spangler, the heart knows who it loves. At six-foot-four and 260 pounds, 15-year-old Dylan Ingvarsson was a beast. And he hated it. Not only did he tower over every single student and most of the teachers at St. Lawrence Prep, but he was also hairy as

a fake-fur blanket. You might get teased, but you don’t get bullied when you’re like that. You don’t have a lot of friends, either, and you don’t get girls. If it weren’t for his best friend JP, Dylan wouldn’t know what to do. They’d known one another since they were little, and he was everything Dylan was not: well-off, wellgroomed, and well-liked. Just walking the halls with JP made Dylan

I am the future of the LGBT community. I’m gay.

I’m 22 years old and I’m an exchange student from Spain. Going to college here means a fun time, lots of hard work and getting to see new things. It also means a chance to really be myself. My parents are supportive of my sexuality, and my host family here is a couple with two teenage boys. Nobody cares if they’re gay or straight. I’m excited to be part of a world where that can be true. I am the future of the LGBT community. And I read about that future every day on my Android tablet. Because that’s where I want it to be.

The person depicted here is a model. Their image is being used for illustrative purposes only.

cool, though there was a bit of a dark side to JP’s friendship. Dylan hated that, too. He hated his entire life, come to think, so he took risks. Big, stupid risks, which is how Dylan ended up on a roof, which was how he ended up falling and busting his leg, which was how he got sent to group therapy for self-harmers, which was how he met the girl of his dreams. Her name was Jamie, she was the same age as Dylan, gorgeous, tall, smart, and she had the same struggles with the way her life was going. She only wanted to be friends, but he wanted so much more – partly because Jamie was funny That leads to a new-old-fashioned and he liked her, partly because she love story that really couldn’t be liked him, and partly because she sweeter. would prove to JP that Dylan could Be aware that this audiobook inget a girl by himself. cludes a delicately-presented makeBut then everything fell apart. out scene that turns surprising, but She said she told Dylan that she was not graphic. It might be controvertransgender, but he didn’t hear that. sial for some, but it fits, so don’t let Was she a dude? He wasn’t gay. She it deter you. Start Beast, and you’ll hadn’t hidden anything, hadn’t lied, heart it.t but Dylan couldn’t get over facts. And he couldn’t get over Jamie. Two minutes. Get past the preliminary tracks in Beast, and that’s how long it will take before you’ll be eager to know more about Dylan. Author Brie Spangler gave him the right words with the right attitude, Andrew Eiden reads them perfectly, and you’ll genuinely like this kid with a tough exterior but a marshmallow center. Spangler and Eiden make Dylan come alive in this boy-meets-girl-who-usedto-be-a-boy story, by giving him more than just one dimension. He’s a warm, responsible, and complex, well-crafted character; with Dylan, Spangler beautifully tackles a could-be-thorny June Lion subject, wrestles with its conBeast author Brie Spangler. sciousness some, then lets it do its own soul-searching.



January 12-18, 2017 • Bay area reporter • 21

For home & country by Brian Bromberger


e seem to be in the middle of a Merchant Ivory revival. Last year, Criterion reissued their classic A Room With a View with a restored digital transfer on Blu-ray. Now Cohen Media Group, in the first of 30 of their films for re-release, presents a gorgeous new 4K restoration of one of Merchant Ivory’s undisputed masterpieces featuring another E.M. Forster novel, Howards End, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of this transcendent movie. Merchant Ivory is the film company created in 1961 by Indian producer Ismail Merchant, American director James Ivory, and in more than half of their 44 films, German Jewish scriptwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (she married an Indian). Merchant Ivory/Jhabvala is the longest partnership in the history of independent cinema, a genre they virtually invented. Their own cosmopolitan backgrounds led to the evolution of their iconic style: a period piece with strict attention to historic detail, lavish sets/locales, a refined aesthetic sensitivity, and first-rate actors portraying psychologically nuanced characters. Almost all their work derived from highbrow contemporary literary fiction, often classic books (reviving an old Hollywood tradition), chiefly Forster and Henry James. Merchant and Ivory were also long-term romantic partners, and many viewers have commented on the gay sensibility that pervades much of their work. Their English period (named because the films were based on English novels shot in England), encompassing Room With a View, Maurice (their only gay love story, via Forster’s posthumous work), Howards End, and Remains of the Day (per the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro), is considered the peak of their creative genius, with critics expressing differing opinions concerning their best or favorite among the four.

Howards End is the saga of an upheaval in class relations resulting in a society in transition, beginning in Edwardian England right before World War I, culminating in the modernity of the 1920s (the same period as Downton Abbey), seen through the entangled interactions of three families. Free-spirited, freethinking sisters Margaret (Emma Thompson) and Helen (Helena Bonham Carter) Schlegel, representing the progressive middle-class, are the lynchpin characters who become involved with the wealthy, shy, but duplicitous business magnate Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife Ruth (Vanessa Redgrave), as well as working-class Leonard Bast (Samuel West) and his mistress Jackie (Nicola Duffett). Helen has an ill-fated romance with son Paul Wilcox, leading to Margaret becoming friends with the ailing Ruth. Ruth dies, trusting her beloved country family home to Margaret. Henry intervenes surreptitiously to stop Margaret from obtaining Howards End, but winds up marrying her. Meanwhile, Margaret and Helen, in their liberal passion for the underclass, become friends with the upwardly mobile Leonard, attempting to induce Henry to employ him, with cataclysmic results. Who will

inherit Howards End, a symbol for the fate of England in the 20th century? This becomes the pivot of the film, its implicit theme of the need for connection, as people from disparate worlds and clashing morals attempt to build bridges towards each other. All the performances are impeccable, reflecting characters with complex emotional lives. The film was nominated for nine Oscars, winning three, for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, and Best Actress for Emma Thompson, making her an international star. Thompson, with her flighty, vivacious but sensible inner core trying to balance two different social worlds, grounds the picture, as does the luminous, ethereal Redgrave, espousing traditional English values despite only appearing in the first half. Bonham Carter is perfect as the idealistic, high-strung Helen, willing to become a social outcast to protest the poor treatment given the Basts. And Hopkins is the epitome of the rigid aristocrat who can’t quite overcome his conformist, even reactionary impulses and allow his basic goodness to emerge, a character we should despise, yet wind up empathizing with in spite of his boorish behavior. Luciana Arrighi’s production design is sublime, visually able to display the different ways of life of all the characters, aided substantially by Tony Pierce-Roberts’ wistful cinematography, Jenny Beavan’s nostalgic costumes, and Richard Robbins’ atmospheric music. It was often said that Merchant Ivory productions were family affairs, as they used the same crew members in most of their films, and this was never more true than in Howards End, where everyone’s love and devotion for the source material are evident. The bonus features are outstanding, in particular a 2016 conversation with James Ivory (the sole

Mean streets

by David Lamble


arely noticed at the time of its theatrical release in 2014, Boulevard, now out on DVD, is a gritty street drama that has a lot to recommend it. The film is the story of 60-year-old bank officer Nolan Mack (Robin Williams) living a life of quiet desperation: visiting his dying dad in a nursing home, going to a job that bores the bejesus out of him while requiring him to put up a respectable front, lying to his wife Joy (Kathy Baker), who desperately wants to go on a cruise, and concealing from his best friend Winston (Bob Odenkirk) the nature of his secret fantasy life. Everything changes when Nolan picks up a boyish, 20something hustler, Leo (Roberto Aguire). Although they avoid sex, the company of the young man arouses deeply

buried feelings within Nolan, feelings for which he will pay dearly. Boulevard was the last live-action performance by comic genius Robin Williams. While Williams is magnificent and the film’s biggest asset, his presence will cause problems for fans of the comic actor expecting that his film swan song be a comic gem, rather than this unsavory slice of how a Puritan-founded society deals with sexual taboos even centuries removed from the shadow of Cotton Mather. Based on a script by Douglas Soesbe, Boulevard soars during a series of monologues by Williams, one of which unfolds by the bedside of his dying dad Lionel (Gary Gardiner). “I need to talk to you about something, Dad, okay? And I need you to listen, because I know somewhere in there, you can hear me. I wanna talk about that time we went to the beach. Summer of 1965, I think it was. We checked into this little motel. I was 12. It was you, me and Mom. If you had any idea what a journey that was. Still sticks with me to this day. Ridiculous. Something happened that summer, Dad. At first, I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t want to. But I knew. I knew that all the wishing and praying in the world couldn’t change the fact that I was gay. “I didn’t do anything about it. I didn’t tell you, or Mom or anyone. It was my secret. And suddenly I’m 60 years old. It’s like I’m still there, like nothing happened. Like I’m still waiting for something I felt was promised to me that day, something that never came, and I’m angry

about it. And I’m still sitting on that beach, and I’m still 12 years old, and nothing’s changed, and I’m still sorry about it. That was some summer, huh, Dad?” Boulevard switches into a lower gear when Leo’s pimp shows up, a feisty, unpleasant but accuratefeeling performance from veteran TV character actor Giles Matthey as Eddie. Eddie is the scum of the earth, a petty, violent street punk whose brutal way of greeting Nolan to give Leo money produces for Nolan a black eye and public row that threatens to blow open his closet for good, and in the process threatens his posh life and everything he’s ever prayed for. Screenwriter Douglas Soesbe had experiences similar to Nolan’s. In an interview with Creative Screenwriting magazine he noted, “I came out very late and with a great deal of guilt. This movie is not about me, but I really understand that character.” Boulevard should be seen for its take on the ever-present “lost” boys who flood the back streets of urban North America, but also for an incendiary last bow from one of San Francisco’s greatest resident artists and one of America’s most brilliant screen clowns. My last impression of Williams in Boulevard has his Nolan character behind the wheel, cruising down a long dark street. Nolan (in voiceover): “I drove down a street one night. A street I didn’t know. It’s the way your life goes sometimes. I’ll drive down this one and another. And now, another.”t

survivor of the triumvirate) and Laurence Kardish, former Senior Curator of Film at the Museum of Modern Art, in which they discuss the relevance of Howards End 25 years later, essentially agreeing that Foster’s societal critique still applies today; and a 13-minute poignant featurette of Ivory remembering Ismail Merchant, recalling their first meeting at an Indian consulate in 1959, his realization of all Merchant accomplished that he hadn’t known at the time of filming, and his admission that he doesn’t have



the same desire to make films since Merchant, seeing to every detail so Ivory could focus on directing, died in 2005. There is a wink and a nod to their flourishing as a discreet but openly gay partnership in a homophobic Hollywood environment. No one today produces in the tasteful Merchant Ivory mold, and their sophisticated charm is missed. But fortunately, with the restoration of the exquisite Howards End, we can revel again in one of the best literary adaptations ever developed for the screen.t




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<< Out & About Out &About


22 • Bay area reporter • January 12-18, 2017

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? @ Ashby Stage, Berkeley Shotgun Players perform Edward Albee’s classic drama about an unhappily married college town couple. $25-$40. In repertory thru Jan. 22. 1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley. (510) 841-6500.

Sat 14

All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 @ Oakland Museum

Thu 19 Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator @ The Castro Theatre (see “Classic & New Films”, Thu 12)

Winterminal by Jim Provenzano


rotest, puff, pronounce on or before Janury 20, and while you’re at it, enjoy some subversive art, which may soon include anything. Refuse to normalize. For nightlife, see On the Tab listings.

Thu 12

20th Anniversary Exhibit @ ArtHaus Group exhibit of paintings celebrating the gallery’s two decades. Reception Jan. 12, 6pm-8pm. Thru Mar. 31. TueFri 11am-6pm. Sat 12pm-5pm. 411 Brannan St. at 3rd.

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips @ Berkeley Rep Michael Morpurgo and Emma Rice’s rousing musical play about a seaside British family whose house is invaded by WWII U.S. soldiers after D-Day. $29-$97. Tue-Sat 8pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Sun 7pm. Thru Jan. 15. Roda Theatre, 201 Addison St., Berkeley.

Bill Irwin On Beckett @ Strand Theatre The veteran comic and dramatic actor performs excerpts from Samuel Beckett plays, and discusses his explorations of the playwright’s work. $20-$60. TueSat 7:30pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Jan. 22. 1127 Market St.

Classic & New Films @ Castro Theatre Jan, 11 & 12: 2001: A Space Odyssey (6pm, 9pm). Jan. 13: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week (7pm)and Gimme Danger (9:30). Jan. 14: SF Sketchfest presents The Kids in the Hall 7pm. Jan. 15: SF Sketchfest presents Stuff You Should Know with Josh Clark and Charles W. ‘Chuck’ Bryant (1pm) and Kentucky Fried Movie 40th anniversary screening, with director John Landis Q&A (7:30). Jan 16: Loving (2:45, 7pm) and Wattstax (5pm, 9:15) Jan 18: The African Queen (3:15, 7pm) and River of No Return (5:10, 9pm). Jan. 19: The Great Dictator (3:15, 7pm) and Duck Soup (5:35, 9:15). $11-$16. 429 Castro St.

Jon Macy, Tara Madison Avery @ SF Public Library The two gay/lesbian authors discuss the Diverse Heroes Coloring Book: A Hands-On Experience. 6pm. 100 Larkin St, lower level.

Noise Club @ SF Bay Wild fundraiser for art space The Lab, with drinks, food and performances by Dynasty Handbag, Las Sucias, MSHR, Voicehandler, Kevin Blechdom, and a psychedelic dance party by International Freakout A Go-Go, all on a yacht! $160. 7–10pm. Pier 40.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto @ Strut Mussalmaan Musclemen, the artist’s exhibit of mixed media works depicting Muslim men, fabric and photos, combining craft styles with homoerotic imagery. 470 Castro St., second floor. Thru January.

Fri 13

Avenue Q @ New Conservatory Theatre Lopez & Marx and Whitty’s hilarious puppets-for-adults musical comedy returns, with two different casts. $20-$60. Wed-Sat 8pm. Sun 2pm. Extended thru Jan. 22. 25 Van Ness Ave., lower level.

Multimedia exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Oakland-based civil rights and community group; thru Feb. 26. Other exhibits include Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture (thru April 2). Free/$15. Reg. hours Wed-Sat 11am-5pm (Fri til 9pm). 1000 Oak St., Oakland. (510) 318-8400.

Approaching American Abstraction @ SF Museum of Modern Art See the restaged installations and new exhibits of Pop, Abstract and classic Modern art at the renovated and visually amazing museum, with two extra floors, a new additional Howard Street entrance, cafe and outdoor gardens. Free-$25. 10am8pm. 151 Third St.

Bernadette Bohan @ The Laundry The artist’s exhibit of colorful toy assemblages. 3359 26th St.

Butterflies and Blooms @ Conservatory of Flowers

The amazing Canadian circus company performs another dazzling show, Luzia, a Waking Dream of Mexico. $49 and up. Tue-Sat 8pm. Also various matiness thru Jan. 29. 74 Mission Rock St.

Beautiful floral displays, plants for sale, docent tours, and the popular live butterflies exhibit; thru June 30. Tue-Sun 10am-4pm. $2-$8. Free for SF residents. 100 JFK Drive, Golden Gate Park, 831-2090.

Dance Brigade @ YBCA

East 14th @ The Marsh

Cirque du Soleil @ AT&T Park

Gracias a la Vida, Love in a Bitter Time, Artistic Director Krissy Keefer’s new work celebrating the company’s 40th anniversary, plus two repertory works. $5-$40. Fri & Sat 7:30pm. Sat 3pm. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St.

Fibers & Threads @ Pacific Felt Factory Weekend exhibit of works on paper by Chloe Bensahei; a portion of arts sale proceeds benefit local LGBT nonprofits. 6:30pm-8:30pm. Thru Jan. 15. 2830 20th St. at Bryant.

The Human Form @ John Bergguen Gallery Opening reception for a group exhibit of classic works by Alberto Giacometti, Edward Hopper, Henri Matisse, Willem de Kooning, Gerhard Richter, Richard Diebenkorn, Pablo Picasso and other artists who explore the human anatomy. Thru Mar. 4. 10 Hawthorne St. Mon-Sun 10am-6pm.

Don Reed returns with his solo show about his Oakland childhood, part of his coming-of-age trilogy. $20-$100. Sat 8:30pm. Sun 5:30pm. Thru Feb. 18. 1062 Valencia St.

Lamp of the Covenant @ Contemporary Jewish Museum Exhibits about Jewish culture, including Lamp of the Covenant: Dave Lane and Pour Crever by Trimpin, Hardly Strictly Warren Hellman. Free (members)-$12. Fri-Tue 11am-5pm, Thu 11am-8pm (closed Wed). 736 Mission St. 6557800.

Mincing Words @ The Marsh Tom Ammiano returns with his comic solo show about his life in politics. $20-$100. Saturadys at 5pm. Extended thru Feb. 25. 1062 Valencia St.

NPR personality and bestselling memoirist Sandra Tsing Loh takes the driver’s seat and slams the engine into overdrive in her hilarious, enlightening, and totally candid road trip. $60-$75. Wed & Sun 7pm. Thu-Sat 8pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Feb 15. 2025 Addison St., Berkeley.

Native Son @ Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley Nambi E. Kelley’s stage adaptation of Richard Wright’s classic novel stars Jerod Haynes, who originated the role in the Chicago world premiere. Previews; opens, Jan 24. $22-$60. Tue-Sun 7:30pm. Sat & Sun 2pm. Thru Feb. 12. 397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.

Popcorn for Breakfast @ Roxie Cinema

Godless Perverts Book Club @ Borderlands Café

Wacky vintage animated flicks with the King of Cartoons. $8; kids free. 11am. 3117 16th St.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article from The Atlantic, “My President was Black” will be discussed. 6pm-8pm. 870 Valencia St.

Red Hot Mama @ Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma Sharon McNight performs her Sophie Tucker Story musical solo show. $25-$35. Fri & Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. Thru Jan. 29. 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N, Petaluma. (707) 763-8920.

Serge Gay Jr. @ Spoke Art Different Rules, the painter’s exhibit of compelling pop culture-infused fantastical images. Thru Jan. 28. 816 Sutter St.

She Loves Me @ SF Playhouse The lighthearted musical by Masteroff, Bock and Harnick follows a comedic misadventures of a straight couple looking for love over the holidays. $30-$125. Tue-Thu 7pm. Fri & Sat 8pm. Sat 3pm, Sun 2pm. Thru Jan. 14. 450 Post St.

Sun 15

A Billion Buddhas @ Asian Art Museum A Billion Buddhas: The Awakened Cosmos of Himalyan Buddhism (thru April 9). Other exhibits include The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine Ally, Foe (thru Jan. 15), Worshipping Women: Power and Devotion in Indian Painting (thru Mar. 26). Free-$25. Tue-Sun 10am-5pm. 200 Larkin St. 581-3500.

LGBTQ Histories from the WWII Home Front @ Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center, Richmond Park indoor exhibit that showcases the lives of historic LGBT people. Open daily 10am-5pm. 1414 Harbour Way South, Suite 3000, Richmond.

NeuroSociety @ Pace Art + Technology, Menlo Park David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar’s sound/tech installation that changes perceptions. $35-$45. Tue-Sun 11am7pm. Thru March 31. 350 El Camino Real, Menlo Park.

Queer Tango @ Finnish Hall, Berkeley Same-sex partner tango dancing, including lessons for newbies, food and drinks. $5-$10. 3:30pm-6:30pm. 1970 Chestnut St, Berkeley.

Mon 16

Bringing Noise for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. @ Nourse Theater Youth Speaks’ 20th annual spoken word and poetry slam finalists perform social justice and politicallythemed prose. $5-$10. 7pm. 275 Hayes St.

The Madwoman in the Volvo @ Berkeley Rep

MLK March, Interfaith Service @ Downtown SF

Fri 13 David Bates’ “Oyster Shucker”, part of The Human Form @ John Bergguen Gallery


Keshet, the Jewish LGBT nonprofit, joins other groups for a Martin Luther Kink, Jr. weekend march and faith service. 11am. Meet at Townsend/4th CalTrain station.

Tue 17

10 Percent @ Comcast David Perry’s online and cable interviews with notable local and visiting LGBT people, broadcast through the week. 7pm. Thu-Tue 11 & 11:30am & 10:30pm.

Choir! Choir! Choir! @ Slim’s The Toronto singing group, where the audience sings along, returns for a rousing participatory night of song. $20. $45 with dinner. 8pm. 333 11th St.

OutLoud Storytelling @ Oasis Matthew Martin (aka Peggy L’eggs) hosts the fascinating storytelling series, this time with the theme ‘Idol Chatter,’ and guests Yodassa Willaims, Manuel Caneri, Laundra Tyme, Vanilla Meringue, U-Phoria and Leigh Crow! $10. 7:30pm. 298 11th St.

Queer Words @ Folio Books Natasha Dennerstein, David Hathwell, Richard Loranger, and Arisa White read at Queer Words’ Poetry & Prose night, with refreshments and prizes. 7pm. 3957 24th St.

Russian Tales @ Dog Eared Books Gay authors Michael Aleynikov, Wayne Goodman, and Arthur J. Levy read from their novels with Russian themes. 7pm. 489 Castro St.

Wed 18 Missing You @ Brava Theatre

Viva 16 documentary by Augie Robles and Valentin Aguirre, plus storytelling drag (Persia) and discussion of queer memory in the Mission. $10-$15.

Gala Concert @ SF Jazz Center Fifth anniversary concert honoring tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, with Bill Frisell, Kronos Quartet, Mary Stallings and many other performers, with an after-party. $145 and up. 6pm-11pm. 201 Franklin St.

Smack Dab @ Dog Eared Books Kate Carroll de Gutes ( Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear) is the featured reader at the eclectic open mic monthly event, cohosted by Dana Hopkins and Larry-bob Roberts. 8pm. 489 Castro St.

The Unseen World of the Tenderloin @ Tenderloin Museum The Unseen World of the Tenderloin: Rare Historic Photographs 1907-71. Thru Jan. 16. 398 Eddy St. 351-1912.

Thu 19

Poe-Pourri 5 @ Dog Eared Books Jon Ginoli, Johnny Ray Huston, Connie Champagne, James Jeske, Marilyn Fowler, and Russell Blackwood read Edgar Allen Poe excerpts, with host Tweaka Turner, a lookalike contest, raffles, food, wine and cake. 7pm8:30pm. 489 Castro St.

Radar Reading @ SF Public Library Juliana Delgado Lopera hosts the eclectic queer reading series, this time with Gabrielle Glancy, Andrea Wolf, Carolina de Robertis, and Marcela Pardo. 6pm. 100 Larkin St., lower level.

Skin Deep: The Art of Tattoo @ Katz Snyder Gallery Exhibit of art and photos about tattoo art by 20 regional artists. Thru Jan. 20. Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St. To submit event listings, email Deadline is each Thursday, a week before publication. For bar and nightlife events, go to On the Tab in BARtab, and online at



January 12-18, 2017 • Bay area reporter • 23

Debbie & Carrie’s swan song by David-Elijah Nahmod


he world was stunned when mother/daughter movie stars Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher died unexpectedly in late December. Fisher suffered a massive heart attack on Dec. 23 and succumbed four days later. Reynolds died the following day after a stroke. Some have speculated that Reynolds died of “broken heart syndrome.” The parent/child love story between Fisher and Reynolds has become the stuff of Hollywood legend. Both women endured a series of failed relationships and became each other’s primary support system. They lived next door to each other. They took care of each other. Eventually they became intertwined as one. Towards the end of Fisher and Reynolds’ lives, filmmakers Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens filmed a documentary about their extraordinary bond. Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds premiered to great acclaim in May 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival. Originally scheduled to air on HBO in March, the film instead premiered on Sat., Jan. 7, as a tribute to the two actresses. The unflinching honesty of the filmmakers, and of Reynolds and Fisher themselves, makes Bright Lights a profoundly emotional experience.

Reynolds lived for two things: her family and her work. She played to packed houses in Las Vegas for decades. Towards the end of her life, with her health failing her, she was advised to retire, but refused. Old and frail, Reynolds steps onto the stage at a resort in Connecticut. No longer able to dance, she sings and banters with her audience. Backstage, after she receives a standing ovation, the camera shows Reynolds being helped down a flight of stairs she can no longer manage on her own. Reynolds allowed this to be filmed, a very brave thing to do. Most of Bright Lights focuses on the deep mother/daughter connection that Reynolds and Fisher shared. Fisher, a recovering addict who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, speaks candidly about her battles with substance abuse and mental illness. Through the years Reynolds stood by her daughter’s side, loving her every step of the way. Much later, as age-related illness causes Reynolds to deteriorate rapidly, the roles are reversed. Fisher is afraid to leave town at one point out of concern for her mom’s wellbeing. The camera follows them as they engage in the casual banter of their everyday lives. Almost like a couple, they start and complete each other’s sentences.

Late in the film Fisher goes to visit her dad, the 1950s crooner Eddie Fisher, who threw his life and career away amidst a series of poor choices. The 1959 breakup of Fisher and Reynolds’ marriage – he left her for Elizabeth Taylor – made tabloid headlines at the time. The Eddie Fisher we see in Bright Lights is an old, sick and emaciated man, unable to get out of bed and barely recognizable. In a heartbreaking sequence, father and daughter say what is most likely their final goodbyes. They admit that in spite of all that happened between them, they still love each other. Sometimes audiences forget that the people we see on screen are real people who have families and aspirations of their own. Bright Lights breaks that fourth wall – this is a film about real people who love each other deeply. The film lets viewers know who Fisher and Reynolds were behind closed doors after their adoring fans had gone home. The camera captures their joys, sorrows, weaknesses and strengths in an unflinching manner.t Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds will also be available On Demand and for online viewing at

Fisher Family Archives/Courtesy of HBO

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds: broken-heart syndrome.

Possessed by Tchaikovsky by Tim Pfaff


t’s hard not to hear a gay slur in the opinion – still out there – that if so many people like Tchaikovsky’s music, it must not be very good. No other composer in history has read more gay to the public, abetted by sensationalism that culminated, but hardly stopped, with Ken Russell’s lurid film The Music Lovers. At least beyond the doors of the War Memorial, it’s not something you hear revealed as the kids stream in to The Nutcracker, by any reckoning one of Tchaikovsky’s most brilliant scores. But it’s out there. The first time I realized what an extraordinary, varied score The Nutcracker is was with Semyon Bychkov’s 1987 recording, never surpassed, though it set a standard to which other conductors have risen. Now he’s done it again with the Sixth Symphony (Pathetique), the bestknown and most misunderstood of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, in a new recording with the Czech Philharmonic (Decca), the first installment in a promised Tchaikovsky Project. From the start, Bychkov’s Pathetique conveys the sense that you’re back in a place you know well yet have never been before. The clarity with which the score is revealed is remarkable, but such sonic lucidity – pretty much the sine qua non of good recordings now – can, in many other hands, substitute for interpretation or, more to the point, feeling. Bychkov’s view of the work is less an interpretation than a vision, multifaceted but whole, direct yet dreamlike. Scarcely has the opening bassoon solo begun, over a cushion of barely audible low strings, you know you’re in the realm of tragedy, not sadness. This is a bassoon that thinks you better be alarmed at its song, a threnody that never wholly leaves the room, even when the dancing gets furious.

There are some highly charged Allegros between the mournful Adagios that frame the work, and here they transpire as if in a dream, something at which the Russians are uniquely good. The dancers are

not the Rockettes, kicking away at you, but characters – you feel them as people – with grace of annihilating dimensions. It’s not that, as a listener, you’re dancing, desperately, as fast as you can, or that you ever worry that there’s going to be an accident in the pit; the fear is that in the sheer centrifugal force, your head might blow off. The relative understatement of the final Adagio lamentoso reflects the sense of almost disbelieving relief that you did not reel into the inferno. That may all sound overwrought, but I’ve never felt this piece take possession of me in quite the same way, and now I won’t settle for less. Decca appends Bychkov’s Romeo & Juliet Fantasy-Overture. I thought Dudamel was magnificent in it the last time I heard it, but that was refrigerator art compared to this Russian’s spooked oils. For those of us of sister Emily Dickinson’s “certain slant,” this music feels more true at the moment – to the moment – more fitting to the change of year than the manic Nutcracker. It sees the world in tragic terms with the steadiest of gazes. San Francisco favorite Pablo Heras-Casado to the rescue with a bright new recording of Tchaikovsky’s shimmering First Symphony, Winter Dreams, with the Orchestra of St. Lukes (Harmonia Mundi), coupled with another Shakespearean Fantasy-Overture, The Tempest. As with Bychkov’s Sixth, its calling-card virtue is exceptional clarity. It’s got cogency, sparkle and vitality galore, all of that not just substituting for but rather impeding the sense of dreamlike mystery that is this score’s feverishly beating heart. It seems increasingly clear that Heras-Casado is exactly the right guy for “old” music, up to Mendelssohn, say, and then for “new” music. Tchaikovsky sits (or is it dances?) right in the gap. I wouldn’t say that Heras-

Casado’s Winter Dreams puts the Boulez back in Christmas, or that you should deny yourself his lucid perception of the piece. But no one yet has surpassed MTT’s essential 1970 recording with the Boston Symphony (DG), and until you’ve heard that, you have no idea where this exquisite, radiant music can take you. It’s easier to hear what a fine composer Tchaikovsky is when you reduce the scale that makes his great works, the ballets, concertos and orchestral pieces so nearly extra-musical in their reach, in the spells they cast. His string quartets,

far too seldom heard in concert, are models of the form that also take the trouble to snare the listener utterly. The Heath Quartet’s new recording of the first and third of them (Harmonia Mundi) is almost unbearably beautiful, yet true as a plumb line. I’ve long cherished recordings of these absorbing quartets performed by Russian ensembles, but the Heath’s versions are as idiomatic and deeply felt and, to the benefit of these emotionally direct pieces, one degree less reverential. They’re as brimming with life as the Pathetique is pre-occupied with imminent death, as it was for Pyotr Ilych.t



Emma Suárez

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<< TV

24 • Bay area reporter • January 12-18, 2017

What the hell, Kim Burrell? by Victoria A. Brownworth


appy New Year. If only 2017 weren’t looking so much like the year we just had that really bad break-up with. Fortunately there are some new shows to look forward to (Taboo, Emerald City, Star, Riverdale) as well as returning faves (Scandal, Suits, How to Get Away with Murder, The Fosters, Pretty Little Liars). Cable news is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. And what the hell, Kim Burrell? One of the best things about having a lesbian ensconced on daytime is there’s always someone waiting there, with a huge audience, ready to fight homophobia. Black gospel singer Kim Burrell, who appears on Frank Ocean’s latest album as well as the soundtrack to Hidden Figures, went on an anti-gay tirade that has spilled over onto social media and, now, Ellen DeGeneres’ show. Burrell is quoted by BET on Jan. 3 saying, “I believe than an enemy [of the spirit] has invaded gay people. I just can’t believe they were born that way. I just can’t believe God makes mistakes like that.” Her previous long anti-gay rant can be heard on YouTube. Trigger warning: it’s vile. Burrell was originally set to appear on Ellen’s show with Grammy winner Pharrell Williams to promote Williams’ soundtrack to the new film Hidden Figures. But when Ellen heard Burrell’s anti-gay sermon about lesbians and gays being “confused” and “deluded” and tools of Satan, she uninvited the

singer. The video of Burrell shows her walking back and forth on the dais of the Houston church where she serves as pastor, talking about lesbians and gays. She refers to “the perverted homosexual spirit” and says, “The spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women.” Williams immediately condemned her comments, as did singer and performer Janelle Monae, often rumored to be a lesbian. Monae also appears in Hidden Figures. On Twitter, Ellen said simply, “For those asking, Kim Burrell will not be appearing on my show.” Williams appeared with Ellen Jan. 5 and the dialogue between him and Ellen was powerful. Ellen explained why she had disinvited Burrell: “I didn’t feel like that was good for me to have her on the show to give her a platform after she’s saying things about me [as a lesbian].” Williams, who is straight, was equally succinct. “There’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 or moving on. There’s no room.” Williams said Burrell’s “a fantastic singer” and added that he loves her, “just like I love everybody else.” But he was clear he has no time for bigotry and won’t be party to it. “We all have to get used to everybody’s differences and understand that this is a big, gigantic, beautiful, colorful world. And it only works with inclusion and empathy.” Preach. Williams spoke about Hidden Figures, which he produced, and the importance of making films about the achievements of women.

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Black gospel singer Kim Burrell went on an anti-gay tirade.

About misogyny, Williams noted everyone needed to remember, “A woman’s body has brought you into this world.” Williams urged people to acknowledge the impact of hate speech. While not mentioning Trump directly, it was clear to whom he was referring. He noted, “Whenever you hear any kind of hate speech, all you have to do is put your own group in the sentence and you can see it’s hate. You have to choose what side you’re on. I am choosing inclusion.” The beautiful, emotional, gutting hour-long documentary Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church can be viewed on We urge you to watch it. It’s an hour well-spent. But tissues are necessary.

The new boss

One of the new 2017 shows is NBC’s The New Celebrity Apprentice, which is only new in its 15th season because the host is former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to NBC, the show’s former host and executive producer Donald Trump chose to hand over the hosting “out of respect” for the presidency. Schwarzenegger is advised by top entrepreneurs including investment guru Warren Buffett; former Microsoft CEO and LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer; supermodel and CEO Tyra Banks; actress, author and entrepreneur Jessica Alba, founder and chief creative officer of The Honest Company and Honest Beauty. The contestants include a mix of gays, women, celebs and sports figures. Notables include Jon Lovitz, Vince Neil of Motley Crue and Snookie Polizzi. On the gay side are Carson Kressley and Boy George. We had to watch, and of course it’s a train wreck, but then it always was. Remember Omarosa? She’s now Trump’s advisor on African American affairs. On Jan. 6, Trump went into a Twitter tirade (can’t take intelligence briefings, but can scan Variety for ratings) about Schwarzenegger’s ratings being lower than his. After all, this is Trump’s franchise, and as was revealed Jan. 5, Trump is $1.5 billion in debt. At 7:34 a.m. Trump tweeted, “Wow, the ratings are in, and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT.” The ratings machine. Then: “So much for being a movie star – and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary.” Schwarzenegger responded far more presidentially, with a gentle reminder in his first tweet, linked to Trump’s: “There’s nothing more important than the people’s work, @

realDonaldTrump.” Followed by, “I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.” Welcome to the next four years of the reality TV presidency. In cable news news, there was some shifting of the white people guard. Megyn Kelly pivoted out of Fox News into NBC where she will host two shows. Fox News alum Greta Van Susteren moves to MSNBC to host For the Record with Greta on weeknights. It replaces the timeslot of Bloomberg’s political television show With All Due Respect, which ended in December. Tucker Carlson, one of the most irritating of all white male conservative pundits, was promoted to Kelly’s spot on Fox News, where his bow tie will vie with that of George Will. According to a source at Fox, Carlson was hand-picked by Rupert Murdoch, who is turning Fox News into Trump News, in case you haven’t been watching (and we hope you haven’t been). Carlson was last seen losing a battle with Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca, then lauding Julian Assange and asserting, a la Trump, that US intel is lying about Russia. We’re sure Van Susteren will slither comfortably into place at MSNBC, which has been moving center for quite some time. For the most part Van Susteren, like Nicolle Wallace, is an old-school moderate GOP and, like Wallace, appears on mainstream talk shows and knows how to be polite in public. Whether Kelly will be able to pull off the mainstream after all those years at Fox News is another story. She told viewers, “This was a tough decision.” She’s beautiful and smart, but she also is well-known for insisting Jesus and Santa are white in a fullon tirade, so time will tell. TV drama is looking tres dystopian in the new season premiering over the next few weeks, as befits the national mood. NBC’s new drama Emerald City, based on The Wizard of Oz, will remind some of Once Upon a Time and more of Game of Thrones. It won’t remind many of The Wizard of Oz, which is its main failing. In this modern update, Dorothy is not a kid anymore, she’s not in Kansas, and she’s not white. Dorothy is played by Latina actress Adria Arjona, whom we have previously liked in Person of Interest and True Detective, and she’s speaking Spanish at the outset. There’s a solid cast that includes veterans Vincent D’Onofrio as The Wizard and Joely Richardson (Vanessa Redgrave’s daughter), who plays Glinda. There’s also a plethora of non-white actors, which makes us happy, since TV is still aching for diversity. Florence Kasumba is very Nona Hendrix as


the Wicked Witch of the East. Unlike most diversity casting, about which we have complained lo these many years, Emerald City doesn’t have that two-for-one “we now have our black lesbian character” quotient feel. Rather, it seems like the world Dorothy lands in with her dog is one we live in, peopled with difference. One compelling reason to watch is Tip, played by Jordan Loughran. Tip appears in the sequel to Wizard of Oz and has an androgynous, Peter Pan-like quality. Spoiler alert: Tip appears to be a boy but is really a gender-non-conforming girl. We are very much down for that and for seeing more of Loughran on screen. Tip’s plaintive “Everyone keeps telling me who and what I am, when do I get to decide?” will resonate with many LGBT viewers. Emerald City feels intended for a gay and/or gay-friendly audience. It’s not just Tip, it’s the look and feel of this show. It’s lush, with gorgeous sets and costumes reminiscent of Julie Taymor’s The Lion King. The well-known figures from Judy Garland’s version are all still there, but their modern/dystopian representations really work. For Garland devotees, this will be a hard sell, but think of it as the next chapter. Emerald City airs after Grimm, now in its sixth season. That’s a good placement, these shows work well together. And we need fantasy more than ever. Other new shows worth a look include Taboo, a miniseries from Ridley Scott. The FX/BBC One production is a period piece thriller with stellar actors. Tom Hardy is the lead, with Oona Chaplin, Jonathan Pryce, Michael Kelly and David Hayman as the main cast. The show premiered on FX Jan.10, but you can catch up on demand. We also recommend the dark side of Archie and Veronica in the CW’s Riverdale, produced by out gay showrunner Greg Berlanti. One new character: Casey Scott plays Kevin Keller in this dark update of the classic comics. Kevin is openly gay and very popular. Not everyone in Riverdale is white, and not everyone is squeaky clean. But everyone is beautiful because this is the CW. Loss of innocence is worth watching here. NBC’s best new show of 2016, This Is Us, returned Jan. 10 with its newly hatched gay storyline. Jan. 19, the TGIT line-up with its various LGBT storylines returns with Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. The aftermath of the fire will likely lead HTGAWM, and the HIV storyline will return as well. Plus, Lauren is pregnant, but Wes is dead. Who’s the father, Frank or Wes? Grey’s has several lesbians, all single, so who will bed whom? Scandal has been MIA for a full season due to Kerry Washington’s pregnancy, so what will Cyrus be up to next? And what about his husband? Finally, we are still not over the sudden death of George Michael, and our fave late-night host James Corden did a touching tribute to him, noting, “We owe him so much.” Michael was the first to do Carpool Karaoke with Corden in a 2011 comedy sketch. Corden credits Michael with getting his now-famous shtick started. Corden said, choking up, “I feel like I’ve loved George Michael as long as I’ve kind of loved music, in a way, and I know so many of his fans feel the same. I can remember so many times in my life where I might have felt on my own, and George’s music, it would feel like you would listen to a song and he would reach his hand out and tell you that you weren’t on your own.” What more can we say except, stay tuned.t



January 12-18, 2017 • Bay area reporter • 25

No tunes like show tunes by Gregg Shapiro


lready racking up numerous awards and nominations, La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s musical love letter to Los Angeles, looks like it’s the one to beat come Oscar time. With music by Justin Hurwitz, and lyrics by openly gay Benj Pasek and his straight collaborator Justin Paul, La La Land: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Interscope) completes the picture. Movie musical lovers are rejoicing over the fact that La La Land contains original songs, the kind you leave the theater humming. Even if you haven’t seen the movie yet, it will be impossible to resist numbers “Another Day of Sun,” “Someone in the Crowd,” “A Lovely Night,” “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream).” The one clunker is “Start a Fire,” the song performed by John Legend and co-written by Hurwitz, Legend and a small committee. In the pantheon of concert movies, from Woodstock to Wattstax and from Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never to Michael Jackson’s This Is It, few have reached the pinnacle of The Last Waltz (although Stop Making Sense comes closest). A 1976 farewell concert by The Band (and many of its friends), directed by Martin Scorcese, it is the concert movie that all other concert movies dream of being. Right off the bat, The Last Waltz: 40th Anniversary (WB/Rhino/MGM) deserves kudos for finally getting the reissue right. Previous editions, including the four-disc box set, were missing something – namely, the movie itself. Sure, the music is spectacular, especially the Joni Mitchell segment, but The Last Waltz is a concert movie, so seeing the movie is essential to the enjoyment of the music. The 40th anniversary edition of The Last Waltz not only includes all four CDs (46 concert tracks, as well as five from the concert rehearsal), but it also features Scorcese’s film on Blu-ray. Bravo! For a musical that got its start as a 1988 John Waters movie with a message, Hairspray, like its main character Tracy, continues to defy the odds. A 2002 Broadway musical adaptation by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman won a Tony and inspired a 2007 movie musical version starring John Travolta as Tracy’s mother Edna, a character originated on Broadway by Harvey Fierstein (created on film by the late Divine). Following The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz, Hairspray is the latest addition to NBC’s stable of musicals performed live on TV. Hairspray Live!: Original Soundtrack of the NBC Television Event (Masterworks Broadway/Epic) returns Fierstein to his Tony Award-winning role as Edna, joined by Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Ariana Grande and newcomer Maddie Baillio. The cast does songs “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” “Good Morning Baltimore,” “I Know Where I’ve Been” and “(The Legend of) Miss Baltimore Crabs” proud. “Oh, hell to the no!” You can almost hear Whitney Houston from the afterlife, can’t you? She’s probably not the only one who will have this reaction to the world premiere cast recording of The Bodyguard: The Musical (First Night). An unfortunate jukebox musical, it stars 2008 X-Factor champ Alexandra Burke as Rachel, the character portrayed by Houston in the 1992 blockbuster. Mixing songs from the movie’s soundtrack (“I Will Always Love You”) and some from Houston’s career (“How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love of All”), The Bodyguard is proof that imitation is the laziest form of flattery.

It probably sounded like a good idea, reuniting Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal, a pair of actors who appeared together in the popular musical Rent, for a show at Feinstein’s 54 Below. Why should Idina Menzel be the only one enjoying a post-Rent music career? Acoustically Speaking (Broadway), subtitled “Celebrating Twenty Years of

Friendship,” simply doesn’t live up to the hype. Pascal, who subscribes to the “Why be wrought when you can be overwrought?” school of thought, is the weakest link here. Some of it has to do with his choice of material (Jeff Buckley, really?), and his stage patter splatters. Openly gay Rapp, on the other hand, is more appealing and controlled. It

falls to the choice of material, and Rapp’s selections, including “Losing My Religion,” “The Origin of Love,” “Happiness” and duets with English Bernhardt on “Falling Slowly” and “Don’t Give Up,” are more successful than Pascal’s. The duo closes out the set with four songs from Rent. After Rapp’s Rent stint, he appeared as Charlie Brown in a 1999

revival of the Peanuts musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, alongside a then relatively unknown Kristin Chenoweth as Charlie’s sister Sally. You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown: 2016 OffBroadway Cast Recording (Broadway) takes an interesting approach to the Clark Gesner musical, which first premiered on Broadway in 1971, by casting young Broadway performers (between the ages of 9 and 14) as the young characters in the show. Not the most thrilling musical on Broadway during the 2016 season (have you heard of a little show called Hamilton?), the revival of the 1963 Harnick/Bock musical She Loves Me nevertheless held its own, even earning a Tony Award. She Loves Me: 2016 Broadway Cast Recording (Ghostlight) stars Jane Krakowski, Zachary Levi and Laura Benanti, who received raves for her performance, in this stage musical adaptation of the movie The Shop Around the Corner.t

<< Fine Art

26 • Bay area reporter • January 12-18, 2017

riod in the annals of Northern California art, includes 14 works, hybrids of realism and abstraction by major players in the movement such as David Park, Frank Lobdell, Elmer Bischoff, Diebenkorn, William Theophilus Brown, Nathan Oliveira and others, each of whom had his own distinctive style and deserves his own exhibition. They’re good company. Through Feb. 25,

Courtesy of the artist and Johansson Projects

Artist Sofie Ramos’ installation view at Incline (2016).



From page 17

Catharine Clark Gallery: Bell the Cat, Deborah Oropallo’s latest exhibition, continues her investigation into the manifestations of gender and power – blatant, veiled or subterranean – in traditional portraiture. Making devilish use of photomontage as she did in her groundbreaking exhibition Guise, Oropallo, who started as a painter, juxtaposes figures in historical paintings with imagery from fetish costume catalogues, the Internet and her own photography, then applies a layer of paint to the proceedings. The images merge and emerge like ghosts, hovering in a dance of distortion. In “Bear Arms,” an empty, hooded bear costume hangs limply in front of a scrim, nearly obscuring the bare legs of a model scantily clad in a teddy bear outfit. Pinocchio’s long nose pokes out of a tangle of marionette strings (“Moral Fiber”), one of two puppetthemed works that appear to speak to the dawning age of Trump, as does “Women Wonder.” She explores imperiled femininity in the reaction-


20th Century

From page 17

In 2011, director Mills offered up a witty posthumous portrait of his father, who had spent a lifetime squashing his true sexual identity. In Beginners, we got to rejoice for the dad (that year’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner, Christopher Plummer) as he got a handful of years to be loud and proud. His straight son (Ewan McGregor) was considerably conflicted over the event, given that his dad’s struggles have seemingly kept him from having a proper adult relationship himself. It not unfair to observe that 20th Century Women, with its growing tide of awards-season buzz for its star Annette Bening, arrives as the second half of a matched set of movies, devoted to writer-director Mills’ ongoing preoccupation with how hard it is to ever really know anyone. My favorite from the Mills list remains his gloriously funny debut, the taboo-smashing adolescent comedy Thumbsucker, in which his teen-boy protagonist sticks to his favorite tension-relieving habit long after it has become more than a little embarrassing to classmates and kinfolk alike. That film demonstrated Mills’ ability to find just the right parts of Walter Kirn’s bestselling novel to film, and just how to allow the plucky title character (a truly pot-stirring turn

ary age of Trump, sourcing the dark subtext of fairy tales, where women drew power from their beauty and witchcraft, or simply ran out of luck. In “Peril,” one of two pieces referencing Snow White, a blood-red apple is proffered by a wicked woman’s hand. “.45” depicts a general posed in formal red, white, and blue military dress, epaulets, fruit salad and all, hands clasped behind his back. It might be George Washington, except for the ram’s head crowning the ensemble. The piece, originally conceived as a tribute to Hilary Clinton, who would’ve been the nation’s 45th president, took a different turn after the election. Through Feb. 18,

of geometric shapes, vinyl, sculptures and collages like children’s birthday presents bundled in kaleidoscopic wrappings. Think of the chaos of a kindergarten classroom, albeit one with a flock of precocious young artists; it’s an environment that may trigger a long-buried urge to get out the finger paints, go to town and chill out afterward during nap time. Ramos, who thinks of her works as being in flux, transient, constantly evolving, will be adding and tweaking elements during the run of the show. After dismantling an exhibition, she reuses materials and admits to never throwing anything away. Her art, like life, is never finished. Through March 11,

Berggruen Gallery opens this Friday in its new, three-story, 10,000-square-foot space (4,600 of it dedicated to exhibition) at 10 Hawthorne Street, striking distance from SFMOMA. The inaugural show, The Human Form, which assembles over 60 ventures into figuration from the early 20th century onward, is a big-tent concept that allows the gallery to roll out the big guns. The impressive roster includes contemporary and historical artworks by undisputed masters of their mediums such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, Gerhard Richter, Kara Walker, Lucian Freud, Nick Cave, Khende Wiley, Kiki Smith, and many others. Jan. 13-March 4,


Embark Gallery’s Get Lost show seems to be about resisting the confines of societal expectations, cultural stereotypes and prevailing artistic representations, all of which are challenged here by a group of local Fine Arts grad students. They offer their perspectives, fresh though sometimes a little weighed down by art theory, on expressions of queer identity, politics and activism in a new digital age. Richard-Jonathan Nelson, for instance, examines the fetishizing of black bodies in queer visual culture through brightly colored textiles, digital collages and soft sculptures, while Simon Garcia-Minaur’s short videos like An Unexpected Visit, which shows a figure whose head and face are bandaged in green mesh like a terrorist, speak to the invisibility and covert nature of queer sexual relationships. Part spoken word, part video, part installation, Izidora Leber’s “A rumination of the queer body in documentary and video making history – and suggestions of how to get lost as a concept for identitarian escape,” which questions “institutional notions of binary genders and heteronormative standards of identity,” is complemented by a live performance involving fire, text and orange tie-dyed balaclavas, references to political protests. Jan. 28-Mar. 4,

Johansson Projects: Not one to be confined by the boundaries of a canvas, Oakland artist Sofie Ramos’ bold, fantastical, don’t-fence-me-in installations transform the gallery into a magical playground with walls, ceilings and floors covered in layers of rainbow-colored house paint. It’s as if one had fallen down the rabbit hole into a Technicolor wonderland

Brian Gross Fine Art: Bay Area Figurative Drawing: 195868 promises to be a delight, with works-on-paper by a crackerjack group of local artists; a notoriCourtesy the artist and Embark Gallery ous boys’ club, I’m afraid, but one shouldn’t hold that against An Unexpected Visit (2015), HD video, 2-channel video installation by them. The exhibition, which Simon Garcia-Miñaur. mines a particularly fertile pe-

from then-newcomer Lou Taylor Pucci) to overcome every obstacle thrown up in his path. 20th Century Women gives Bening’s leading lady a host of obstacles, starting with the fiery destruction of her car and her decision to keep her nonconforming son home from school. And this may be just the moment when award-season voters find Bening’s late-70s non-conformist precisely

the right character with whom to send a message to President-Elect Donald J. Trump. Be that as it may, 20th Century Women is a fabulous homage, specifically to Mills’ mom, but also to any woman and her true family about what to value, and when not to shut up when bullies threaten. Bening, herself the mother of four kids with actor Warren Beatty (including a trans son), recently

Partial cast of director Mike Mills’ comedy-drama 20th Century Women.

told The New York Times how much contemporary young people are teaching her, and how proud she is to share the awards-season spotlight with other bold efforts, such as the African American gay-themed drama Moonlight. “I feel good that a lot of the movies this year point to these issues: homophobia, poverty, xenophobia, sexism. Moonlight put viewers right inside someone’s heart. God,

that makes me feel really good about what movies can do, especially right now.” Award-season honors are often about as memorable as yesterday’s weather – how many of us can name the last few years’ winners? But important careers can endure and leave us with crucial defining cultural benchmarks. A few years back I was privileged to sit next to Bening as she gamely sat for a group interview about a distinctly LGBTQ-friendly feature, The Kids Are All Right. As I wrote in my review: “The film is an exhilarating samesex family tale capturing a slew of hilarious unintended consequences, including a series of unauthorized sleepovers and a bravura drunken dinner party where Annette Bening channels her inner Joni Mitchell. While avoiding the dreaded topic of lesbian bed death, the filmmakers invoke screwball’s motif of the main couple undergoing a kind of symbolic divorce followed by a magical remarriage. Oscar bait: ACT alum Bening richly deserves her third stab at Best Actress honors for a new type of screen heroine, the lesbian mom overcoming the odds and keeping her gal and family.” In 2017, I suspect award voters will finally give Annette Bening a long overdue prize, both for one of this year’s outstanding comedydramas, but also for a career where she has just kept plugging away, as the best ones usually do.t


On the Town



Brendan Phillips

Shining Stars Vol. 47 • No. 2 • January 12-18, 2017 ✶

Mascara marvels Castro Country Club’s drag show fun By Cornelius Washington

T Steven Underhill

Intensive Claire (pink wig), rides a pup in a Mascara group number.

On the B Tab

he most unusual, dynamic, and beautiful part of the LGBTQ community is its approach to issues concerning recovery. Of course, San Francisco leads the way. The fabulous and very chic building known as The Castro Country Club is a venue for 12-step recovery meetings, art and a safe space for social gatherings for those who deign not to surround themselves with drugs and alcohol. See page 28


Fri 13

runch with drag and foo d, late night dance parties, and intim ate cabarets shine among this week’ s events. Who says we don’t have a choice ?

29 >> Listings begin on page

Cubcake @ Lone Star Saloon

Gareth Gooch

Jan 12-19


Tickets are available at and select Walmart locations. To charge by phone (800) 745-3000. Limit 8 tickets per person. All dates, acts and ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All tickets are subject to applicable service charges.

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

28 • Bay Area Reporter • January 12-18, 2017



From page 27

To raise funds for the site’s operation, the sober drag community created Mascara, a fun, freaky and fantastically fabulous monthly event. Its emcee, Intensive Claire (also known as Kirk Saraceno), has been the ringleader of a group of new and seasoned performers who put the gaiety back in drag, a welcome return to the art form, for a wonderful cause. Of course, Miss Claire is a wonderfully modern lady who does things in decency and in order, a rarity in the drag world, and suggested I first conducted a dialog with Mr. Billy Lemon, The Country Club’s new Executive Director. Cornelius Washington: Mascara is genius. Who invented the event, and why?

Billy Lemon: Mascara was created by Peter “Uphoria” Griggs seven years ago, as a creative outlet for the sober community. How has the event been produced? The event is produced by collaboration between the Castro Country Club and the reigning Miss Castro Country Club. The Miss Castro Country Club is crowned in April of each year after competing in a pageant. The event is held at Everette Middle School and usually has a pool of five performers each competing for the crown. A rough estimation of Mascara’s history has it making well over $100,000 dollars. What do you you think will be the evolution of the drag queen recovery community? I can’t speculate on the future



of the drag queen recovery community simply because I’m not a performer. But I can say as more people embrace sobriety, they also reawaken talents that over time they have lost touch with. This is one of the main reasons Mascara is a success. What seems to be the difference between the drag queen recovery community’s performances and regular drag performances? The differences often times are marked by the performers making a statement about recovery and addiction. What do you think will Gareth Gooch be Mascara’s future? As long as I am the Execu- Intensive Claire performs at The Edge’s Monster Show. tive Director of the Castro Country Club, I will continSan Francisco is fortunate to Thanks to Rupaul and her shows, ue trying to grow this event. have a wealth of talent here in the there has been a major appreciaIt makes people laugh and feel good; drag community. Pollo Del Mar, tion for drag as an art form and a two things needed desperately in Nancy French, Peaches Christ, respect for the human being beour world today. Heklina, D’Arcy Drollinger and hind the makeup. Will it ever be a many more. mainstream form of entertainment? What criteria determines your Probably not, and I don’t think it choice of emcees? What, in your I have a tendency of looking should be. Will it be recognized opinion, makes intensive Claire at either your stunning legs or more as an artistic self-expression? such an ideal MC? your amazing mug. Do you have Absolutely. The criteria for the MC is wina grooming, styling, make-up or ning the pageant in April. Make no fitness tip for my readers? Where do you think that the mistake; Claire has a lot of responYou are way too kind here. drag queen recovery community sibility on her hands. I organize the Thank you. What helps me conis going in the 21st century? logistics; permits, promotion, daytinue to learn how to navigate There are many little budding of-event logistics. drag makeup is sitting with other drag queens in the audience at our Claire has to create themes each queens and learning from them. shows, and it’s my duty to pull them month, organize volunteer perWe are all constantly learning and out of hiding. It’ll continue to flourformers and entertain the crowd sharing tips with each other. Pollo ish. Drag in the recovery commuat the event; no small task. She is Del Mar has amazing YouTube tunity is going to continue to show funny, witty, and sensitive to current torials that I swear by. I have sat that just because we’re sober, doesn’t events with her finger on the pulse with Pollo, Roxy-Cotton Candy, mean we’re boring. of what’s important, and over the Kim Burly, Turleen, and last nine months has far exceeded all Daniel Adams. They have of our expectations. all shaped the face you see before you. Whether they like it or not!  Be humble Mascara’s new Mistress of Cerand be teachable. emonies, Intensive Claire had comments and compliments for her I’m glad that your event drag colleagues. welcomes new drag artCornelius Washington: I was ists. Please tell my readers very lucky to see you at the very how to sign up to particibeginning of your drag career, pate in Mascara. and I can saw the evolution and Mascara is the best fothe fun that you’re having with it. rum for a new drag artHow did it all begin for you? ist. Get in touch with me Intensive Claire: It all began with at Ksaraceno@comcast. a friend of mine mentioning to net or find me on FaceCookie Dough that I was interested book, so we can get you in performing. I really admired her. on stage! You can follow She was a power of example to many Intensive Claire at @ and never took herself too seriously. NurseKirk. She immediately brought me on stage with her, and I was hooked. I What are the most owe so much to her and my drag, in physically challenging a way, honors her legacy. aspects of wearing and How did you become the MC of Mascara? Initially, I had no desire to be responsible for Mascara. I had seen friends in the same role and I shied away from the level of dedication it requires. I was urged by my drag mother, Pollo del Mar, and actor Nancy French to run for Miss Castro Country Club as it would be good for me on so many levels. They were completely right. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a show where the audience was so intense, with their love and money. Do you think that you, collectively, have discovered a new variation of entertainment? Oh I don’t think so at all. I wish I were that creative. The audiences at Mascara are the most passionate and generous out of any audience I’ve performed for. Our passion comes from where we have all been in our lives. We are all there raising money for a place that means so much to our livelihood. We are able to have fun, support each other, and lift each other up.   Where do you think that drag is going in the 21st century? The sky is the limit for drag.

Cornelius Washington

The otherworldly glam of Intenstive Claire.

Did you have any initial trepidations about doing drag? Oh, boy. I think the stigma behind it in terms of dating. A lot of gay culture focuses on being masculine and the idea of masculinity being the ideal. I thought once I started doing it, my romantic life would be over. Then, I thought, “Why are you holding out for someone else, someone else that doesn’t even exist right now?” I didn’t have a good enough answer. What is your favorite music to get dressed and made up to? I always struggle with that. I feel like I should have some sort of genre, but I put all of my music on shuffle and just listen. When I’m really trying to focus on my paint, I have to do it in silence. Crazy, huh? What is your favorite fashion movie? Barbarella. Who in the drag community at large inspires you?

doing drag? Oh, there are so, so many physical challenges. I’d have to say the worst is not being able to use the bathroom. Luckily, years of being a nurse has given me a bladder of steel.

Is your drag persona a part of you, or is it a work of performance art that you create? Claire is me, amplified 1000 times over. She is her own entity in that way. Whatever Kirk thinks, Claire can get away with saying. Its a fantastic relationship. In this new year, many people are looking to attain sobriety, etc., as part of their New Year’s resolution. Please say something positive about recovery. When I first got sober, I thought life was over now that I couldn’t drink or do drugs. That hasn’t been the case for myself or anyone I have known in recovery. The minute we stopped using and surrendered, our lives began. Its an amazing journey that can belong to anyone.”t The next Mascara is January 28 at Eureka Valley Rec. Center, 100 Collingwood St. in SF. $15-$20. For info, and a schedule of sober meetings, visit


On the Tab>>

January 12-18, 2017 • Bay area reporter • 29

Boy Division @ Cat Club The monthly New Wave & Brit Pop night returns, with DJs Xander, Tomas Diablo, Donimo, Damniel Skellington and Starr; plus birthday cake (the night’s one-year anniversary) and free entry for Capricorns. $5-$8. 9:30pm3am. 1190 Folsom St. at 8th.

Brendan Phillips, Alex Torres @ Nob Hill Theatre The handsome porn performer makes his strip club debut with solo shows at 8pm and sex shows with Torres at 10pm. Also Jan. 14. $25. 729 Bush St. at Powell. 397-6758.

Cubcake @ Lone Star Saloon Enjoy groovy beats and tasty sweets at the popular bear-centric bar. 9pm2am. 1354 Harrison St.

Fri 13 Leonce at Swagger Like Us @ White Horse Bar, Oakland

DTF Fridays @ Port Bar, Oakland Various DJs play house music at the new gay bar’s weekly event. 9pm2am. 2023 Broadway. (510) 823-2099.

Fleetwood Mask @ Great American Music Hall

On the Tab

From page 29

Thu 12

After Dark @ Exploratorium Adult cocktail party at the interactive science museum. Jan. 12: Fungus Among Us, noodle pairings, with DJs Andy Cabic and Vetiver. Jan. 19: Mechanical Melodies; silent films and odd inventions, plus Argon science demos. $10-$15. 6pm-10pm. Pier 15 at Embarcadero.

Music night with local and touring bands. $8. 9:30pm. 398 12th St. at Harrison.

Tubesteak Connection @ Aunt Charlie’s Lounge Disco guru DJ Bus Station John spins grooves at the intimate retro music night. No cell phones on the dance floor, please! $5. 10pm-2am. 133 Turk St. at Taylor.

The talented Fleetwood Mac tribute band performs all the hits, with extra shawl-spinning. Southern Comfort opens. $15-$18. $40 with dinner. 9pm. 859 O’Farrell St.

Gaymer Night @ SF Eagle Group video game-playing night on the big-screen TVs and prjection screens; free coat check, no cover. 8pm-1am. 398 12th

The saucy women’s burlesque show hosted by Dottie Lux will titillate and tantalize. $10-$20. 8pm-9:30pm. 399 9th St. Also Sunday brunch shows at PianoFight Theatre. 144 Taylor St.

Rock Fag @ Hole in the Wall Enjoy hard rock and punk music from DJ Don Baird at the wonderfully divey SoMa bar. Also Fridays. 7pm-2am. 1369 Folsom St. 431-4695.

Some Thing @ The Stud Mica Sigourney and pals’ weekly offbeat themed drag performance night. $7. 10pm-3am. 399 9th St.

Swagger Like Us @ White Horse Bar, Oakland Leonce guest-spins at the queer hip hop night, with DJs Foozool and DavO. $7-$10. 9pm-2am. 6551 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.

Uhaul @ Oasis The vibrant monthly women’s dance night, with a full moon rooftop party, and DJs Silly Syl, Ms. Jackson and Ripley. $15. 10pm-3am. 298 11th St.

Sat 14

Steven Underhill


Thursday Night Live @ SF Eagle

Red Hots Burlesque @ The Stud

Lips and Lashes Brunch @ Lookout

Fri 13 Fleetwood Mask @ Great American Music Hall

Vibe Fridays @ Club BnB, Oakland

Stimulating festive and fun parties at the earth sciences museum returns, with 21+ music, drinks, demos and exhibits. $12-$15. Weekly 6pm-9pm. 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.

Noise Club @ SF Bay Wild fundraiser for art space The Lab, with drinks, food and performances by Dynasty Handbag, Las Sucias, MSHR, Voicehandler, Kevin Blechdom, and a psychedelic dance party by International Freakout A Go-Go. $160. 7–10pm. Pier 40.

Picante @ The Cafe Lulu and DJ Marco’s Latin night with sexy gogo guys. 9pm-2am. 2369 Market St.

Queer Karaoke @ Club OMG Dana hosts the weekly singing night; unleash your inner American Idol. 8pm. 43 6th St.

Underwear Night @ Powerhouse Free coat/clothes check when you strip down to your skivvies at the cruisy SoMa bar. $5. 10pm-2am. 1347 Folsom St.

Fri 13

Ain’t Mama’s Drag @ Balancoire Weekly drag queen and drag king show hosted by Cruzin d’Loo. 8pm10pm. No cover. 2565 Mission St.

Beach Blanket Babylon @ Club Fugazi The musical comedy revue celebrates its 40th year with an ever-changing lineup of political and pop culture icons, all in gigantic wigs. $25-$160. Beer/wine served; cash only; 21+, except where noted. Wed-Fri 8pm. Sat 6pm & 9pm. Sun 2pm & 5pm. 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd. (Green St.). 421-4222.

The Bitch is Back @ Oasis Joe Posa and Tony Tripoli perform their Joan Rivers drag tribute comedy show. $25-$35. 7:30pm. Also Jan. 14. 298 11th St.

Boy Bar @ The Cafe Gus Presents’ weekly dance night, with DJ Kid Sysko, cute gogos and $2 beer (before 10pm). 2369 Market St.

Gogo Fridays @ Toad Hall Hot dancers grind it at the Castro bar with a dance floor and patio. 4146 18th St.

Happy Friday @ Midnight Sun The popular video bar ends each work week with gogo guys (starting at 9pm) and drink specials. 4067 18th St. 861-4186.

Hard Fridays @ Qbar DH Haute Toddy’s weekly electro-pop night with hotty gogos. $3. 9pm-2am (happy hour 4pm-9pm). 456 Castro St.

House music and cocktails, with DJs Shareef Raheim-Jihad and Ellis Lindsey. Jan. 13 is a special hot Twerk Competition for guys and gals. 9pm2am. 2120 Broadway. (510) 759-7340.

Winter Onesie Party @ Lookout Bring/don your funnest onesie pajamas at a fundraiser for the National AIDS Memorial Grove, with DJ Phil B, runway contest at midnight, and pics by Georg Lester; free coat check. $5. 9pm-2am. 3600 16th St.

Latin Explosion @ Club 21, Oakland The Latin dance night includes drag acts and gogo studs. $10-$20. 9pm4am. 2111 Franklin St., Oakland.

Lick It @ Powerhouse DJ Blackstone spins grooves at the cruisy night. $5. 10pm-1am. 1347 Folsom St.

Manimal @ Beaux Gogo-tastic dance night starts off your weekend. $5. 9pm-2am. 2344 Market St.

Midnight Show @ Divas Weekly drag shows at the last transgender-friendly bar in the Polk; with hosts Victoria Secret, Alexis Miranda and several performers. Also Saturdays. $10. 11pm. 1081 Polk St.


Nightlife @ California Academy of Sciences

Bounce @ Lookout Dance music with a view at the Castro bar. 9pm-2am. 3600 16th St.

Bowie/Prince Night @ Rickshaw Stop Queen Bitch and Controversy, tribute bands for the two departed musicians, play live. $12. 9pm. 155 Fell St.

Club Rimshot @ Club BNB, Oakland The weekly hip hop and R&B night. $5$15. 9pm to 4am. 2120 Broadway. (510) 759-7340.

Grand Opening @ Dada Bar The bar’s featured art includes Jason Mecier’s celebrity collage works (thru Feb). 8pm-1am. Mechanics Institute Building, 65 Post St. at Kearny. 357-1367.

Mother @ Oasis

Mary Go Round @ Lookout

The weekly drag show with DJ MC2, themed nights and hilarious fun. $5. 9pm-2am. 4149 18th St. at Collingwood.

DJs Mysterious D and guests spin at the mash-up DJ dance party, with four rooms of different sounds and eight DJs. $10-$15 and up. 9:30pm3am. 375 11th St.

Weekly show with soul, funk and Motown grooves hosted by Carnie Asada, with DJs Becky Knox and Pumpkin Spice. The yummy brunch menu starts at 12pm, with the show at 1:30pm. 3600 16th St.

Venus D’Lite’s comic drag show (created by Tony Blass with Adam Daniel Guerra) about pop stars, evil villains and more. $20-$40. 8pm. 298 11th St.

The Monster Show @ The Edge

Bootie SF @ DNA Lounge

Lips and Lashes Brunch @ Lookout

Local Sirens @ Rickshaw Stop

Mercedez Munro and Holotta Tymes’ weekly drag show. $5. 10:30pm show. DJ Philip Grasso. 3600 16th St.

Latin, hip hop and Electro music night. Dec. 24: no cover, all night. 9pm-4am. 2111 Franklin St., Oakland.

House music grooves with Mohammad at the cruisy bar that’s once a month transformed into a cool den of fun with sofas and lava lamps. $5. 9pm-2am. 1347 Folsom St.

Sing along and sing out, Louise, with hostess Sister Flora Goodthyme. 8pm2am. 399 9th St.

Madonna Dearest @ Oasis

La Bota Loca @ Club 21, Oakland

House Party @ Powerhouse

Karaoke Night @ The Stud

Women in Music series features Bay Area singer-composers Plush, Tanukichan, Sirir and Rayana Jay. Free. 8pm. 155 Fell St. at Van Ness Ave.

Sat 14

Heklina the weekly night of drag tour de force performances, DJ MC2 spins dance grooves before and after the show. Jan. 14: Trixie Mattel is the guest performer. $10-$15. 7:30pm-9pm. Reg: 10pm3am. 298 11th St.

Nitty Gritty @ Beaux Weekly dance night with nearly naked gogo guys & gals; DJs Chad Bays, Ms. Jackson, Becky Know and Jorge T. $4. 9pm-2am. 2344 Market St.

Pound Puppy @ SF Eagle Orographic guest-DJs the groovy cubs & queens night at the famed SoMa bar, with resident DJs Taco Tuesday and Kevin O’Connor, and super sexy gogo guys. $10. 9pm-2am. 398 12th St.

See page 30 >>

Sat 14

Pound Puppy @ SF Eagle

<< On the Tab Georg Lester

30 • Bay area reporter • January 12-18, 2017

Raunch @ Codeword, Halcyon

No No Bingo @ Virgil’s Sea Room

Shawn P and Nando spin at the MLK weekend dance party 10pm-5am. 917 Folsom St. Then, an after-hours kink dance party for the kinky circuit set, with DJs Obra Primitva and Shawn Perry. $15-$60. 5am-12pm. 314 11th St.

Mica Sigourney and Tom Temprano cohost the wacky weekly game night at the cool Mission bar. 8pm. 3152 Mission St.

Stadium, Sanctuary @ Verso, 1015 Folsom Circuit dance pair of events with DJs Phil B, Sky, $20-$60. 6pm-12am and 10pm-6am. 1525 Mission St.; 1015 Folsom St.

Fri 13

Winter Onesie Party @ Lookout


Sunday’s a Drag @ Starlight Room

DJ Bus Station John’s groovy retro dance T-party at the famed leather bar. $5. 7pm-12am. 398 12th St. at Harrison.

Donna Sachet often hosts the weekly fabulous brunch and drag show, now celebrating its tenth anniversary. $45. 11am, show at noon; 1:30pm, show at 2:30pm. 450 Powell St. in Union Square. 395-8595.

Domingo De Escandal @ Club OMG

Sunday Brunch @ Thee Parkside

Disco Daddy @ SF Eagle

On the Tab

From page 29

Pretty in Ink @ Powerhouse Show off your tattoos at the inkthemed night. $5. 9pm-2am. 1347 Folsom St.

Red Hot Mama @ Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma Sharon McNight performs her Sophie Tucker Story musical solo show. $25-$35. Fri & Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. Thru Jan. 29. 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N, Petaluma. (707) 763-8920.

Saturgay @ Qbar Stanley Frank spins house dance remixes at the intimate Castro dance bar. $3. 9pm-2am (weekly beer bust 2pm-9pm). 456 Castro St. www.

Weekly Latin night with drag shows hosted by Vicky Jimenez and DJ Luis. 7pm-2am. 43 6th St.

Bottomless Mimosas until 3pm at the fun rock-punk club. 1600 17th St. 2521330.

Hella Saucy @ Q Bar

Opulence @ Beaux Weekly dance night, with Jocques, DJs Tori, Twistmix and Andre. 9pm-2am. 2344 Market St.

Piano Bar 101 @ Martuni’s

Queer dance party at the stylish intimate bar. 9pm-2am. 456 Castro St.

High Fantasy @ Aunt Charlie’s Lounge Weekly drag and variety show, with live acts and lip-synching divas, plus DJed grooves. $5. Shows at 10:30pm & 12am. 133 Turk St. at Taylor.

Hysteria @ Martuni’s

Sing-along night with talented locals, and charming accompanist Joe Wicht. 9pm. 4 Valencia St. at Market.

Underwear Night @ 440 Strip down to your skivvies at the popular men’s night. 9pm-2am. 440 Castro St. 621-8732.

Tue 17

Bandit @ Lone Star Saloon New weekly queer event with resident DJ Justime; electro, soul, funk, house. No cover. 9pm-1am. 1354 Harrison St.

Femme Brunch @ Balancoire Weekly live music shows with various acts, along with brunch buffet, bottomless Mimosas, champagne and more, at the stylish nightclub and restaurant, with live entertainment and DJ Shawn P. $15-$20. 11am-3pm. After that, Femme T-Dance drag shows at 7pm, 10pm and 11pm. 2565 Mission St. at 21st. 920-0577.


Irene Tu and Jessica Sele cohost the comedy open mic night for women and queers. No cover. 6pm-8:30pm. 4 Valencia St.

Love @ The Stud Mama Dora, Thee Pristine Condition, and Ultra present Tuesday-style shenanigans to warm your heart. Jan. 17 theme: Love Will Overcome. $5 Open 9pm, Show 10pm. 399 Harrison.

Naked Night @ Nob Hill Theatre Strip down as the strippers also take it all off. $20. 9pm. 729 Bush St. at Powell. 397-6758.

OutLoud Storytelling @ Oasis

Tue 17

Matthew Martin (aka Peggy L’eggs) hosts the fascinating storytelling series, this time with the theme ‘Idol Chatter,’ and guests Yodassa Willaims, Manuel Caneri, Laundra Tyme, Vanilla Meringue, U-Phoria and Leigh Crow! $10. 7:30pm. 298 11th St.

Dina Martina @ Oasis

Queer Jitterbugs @ The Verdi Club

Soul Party @ Elbo Room DJs Lucky, Paul, and Phengren Osward spin 60s soul 45s. $5-$10 ($5 off in semi-formal attire). 10pm-2am. 647 Valencia St. 552-7788.

Enjoy weekly same-sex (and other) swing dancing, with lessons, social dancing, ASL interpreters and live music. $15. 9pm-11:45pm. 2424 Mariposa St. at Potrero.

Strangelove, Temptation @ Slim’s

Retro Night @ 440 Castro

The Depeche Mode Experience tribute band, and the New Order tribute band share a New Wave bill. $17. $42 with dinner. 9pm. 333 11th St.

Sugar @ The Cafe Dance, drink, cruise at the Castro club. 9pm-2am. 2369 Market St.

Jim Hopkins plays classic pop oldies, with vintage music videos. 9pm-2am. 44 Castro St.

Mon 16 Sun 15 Keenan Orr guest-DJs Honey Soundsystem @ Folsom Street Foundry

Writers with Drinks @ The Make Out Room Sara Benincasa, Jeff Chang, Antonio Garcia Martinez, Aya de Leon, Jennifer Dronsky and Wendy C. Ortiz and special guest-host Baruch PorrasHernandez tell tall tales of their amazing lives. $5-$20. 7:30pm. 3225 22nd St.

Sun 15

Beer Bust @ Lone Star Saloon

GlamaZone @ The Cafe Pollo del Mar’s weekly drag show takes on different themes with a comic edge. 8:30-11:30pm. 2369 Market St.

Hamiltunes @ Oasis Sing-along night to the hit musical Hamilton ; proceeds benefit Black Lives Matter and the Transgender Law Center. $10. 7pm. 298 11th St.

Honey Soundsystem @ Folsom Street Foundry

Enjoy daytime partying with bears and cubs, plus fundraisers for the SF Fog Rugby team. 4pm-8pm. 1354 Harrison St.

The popular DJ collective spins and welcomes guest-DJ Keenan Orr. $20. 10pm-4am. 1425 Folsom St.

Beer Bust @ SF Eagle

Jock @ The Lookout

The classic leather bar’s most popular Sunday daytime event in town draws the menfolk. Beer bust donations benefit local nonprofits. $10. 3pm6pm. Now also on Saturdays. 398 12th St. at Harrison.

Big Top @ Beaux The fun Castro nightclub, with hot local DJs and sexy gogo guys and gals. $5. 9pm-2am. 2344 Market St.

Blessed @ Port Bar, Oakland Carnie Asada’s fun drag night returns, with Carnie’s Angels – Mahlae Balenciaga and Au Jus, plus DJ Ion. 2023 Broadway.

Enjoy the weekly jock-ular fun, with DJed dance music at sports team fundraisers. 12pm-1am. NY DJ Sharon White from 3pm-6pm. 3600 16th St.

Queer Tango @ Finnish Hall, Berkeley Same-sex partner tango dancing, including lessons for newbies, food and drinks. $5-$10. 3:30pm-6:30pm. 1970 Chestnut St, Berkeley.

Q-Tea @ Qbar MLK weekend tea dance, with DJs Brian Kent, Paul Goodyear and Russ Rich. $5. 4pm-8pm. 456 Castro St.

Drag Mondays @ The Cafe

Mahlae Balenciaga and DJ Kidd Sysko’s weekly drag and dance night. 9pm-1am. 2369 Market St.

Epic Karaoke @ White Horse, Oakland Mondays and Tuesdays popular weekly sing-along night. No cover. 8:30pm-1am. 6551 Telegraph Ave, (510) 652-3820.

Gaymer Meetup @ Brewcade The weekly LGBT video game enthusiast night includes big-screen games and signature beers, with a new remodeled layout, including an outdoor patio. No cover. 7pm-11pm. 2200 Market St.

Karaoke Night @ SF Eagle Sing along, with guest host Nick Radford. 8pm-12am. 398 12th St.

Tap That Ass @ SF Eagle Block Party @ Midnight Sun Weekly screenings of music videos, concert footage, interviews and more, of popular pop stars. 9pm-2am. 4067 18th St. 861-4186.

Choir! Choir! Choir! @ Slim’s The Toronto singing group, where the audience sings along, returns for a rousing participatory night of song. $20. $45 with dinner. 8pm. 333 11th St.

Cock Shot @ Beaux Shot specials and adult Bingo games, with DJs Chad Bays and Riley Patrick, at the new weekly night. No cover. 9pm-2am. 2344 Market St.

Dina Martina @ Oasis The hilarious drag act returns with her new show, Off the Charts. $22 7pm & 9pm. Also Jan. 18. 298 11th St.

Gaymer Night @ Eagle Gay gaming fun on the bar’s big screen TVs. Have a nerdgasm and a beer with your pals. 8pm. 398 12th St.

Bartender Steve Dalton’s beer night happy hour. 398 12th St. at Harrison.

Trivia Night @ Hi Tops Play the trivia game at the popular new sports bar. 9pm. 2247 Market St. 551-2500.

Trivia Night @ Port Bar, Oakland Cranny hosts a big gay trivia night at the new East Bay bar; drinks specials and prizes. 7:30pm. 2023 Broadway.

Una Noche @ Club BnB, Oakland Vicky Jimenez’ drag show and contest; Latin music all night. 9pm-2am. 2120 Broadway. (510) 759-7340.

Underwear Night @ Club OMG Weekly underwear night includes free clothes check, and drink specials. $4. 10pm-2am. Preceded by Open Mic Comedy, 7pm, no cover. 43 6th St.

Mahogany Mondays @ Midnight Sun Honey Mahogany’s weekly drag and musical talent show starts around 10pm. 4067 18th St. 861-4186.

Mule Mondays @ Port Bar, Oakland Enjoy frosty Moscow Mule cocktails in a brassy mug, specials before 8pm. 2023 Broadway, Oakland.

Musical Mondays @ The Edge Sing along at the popular musical theatre night; also Wednesdays. 7pm2am. 2 for 1 cocktail, 5pm-closing. 4149 18th St. at Collingwood.

Wed 18 Bear’s Den @ Great American Music Hall


On the Tab>>

January 12-18, 2017 • Bay area reporter • 31

Thu 19 Comedy Returns @ El Rio

Maureen Langan, Joe Nguyen, Ash Fisher, David Lawrence Hawkins, and host Lisa Geduldig share laughs for a Trumpocalypse Eve. $7$20. 8pm. 3158 Mission St.

Gym Class @ Hi Tops

Thu 19

Nightlife @ California Academy of Sciences

Wed 18

Bear’s Den @ Great American Music Hall The popular folk-rock British duo returns for a stop on their U.S. tour. $21. $46 with dinner, 8pm. 859 O’Farrell St.

Bedlam @ Beaux Weekly event with DJ Haute Toddy, hosts Mercedez Munro and Abominatrix. Wet T-shirt/jock contest at 11pm. $5-$10. 9pm-2am. 2344 Market St.

Bondage-a-Gogo @ The Cat Club The weekly gay/straight/whatever fetish-themed kinky dance night. $7$10. 9:30pm-2:30am. 1190 Folsom St.

Bone @ Powerhouse Punk/Alternative monthly night returns, with some performances, too. 9pm-12am. 1347 Folsom St.

Bottoms Up Bingo @ Hi Tops Play board games and win offbeat prizes at the popular sports bar. 9pm. 2247 Market St. 551-2500.

B.P.M. @ Club BnB, Oakland Olga T and Shugga Shay’s weekly queer women and men’s R&B hip hop and soul night, at the club’s new location. No cover. 8pm-2am. 2120 Broadway, Oakland.

Comedy Showcase @ SF Eagle Kollin Holtz hosts the open mic comedy night. 5:30pm-8pm. 398 12th St. at Harrison.

Gay Singles Mixer @ Club OMG Meet your next potential husband at the mixer that’s likea 3D version of dating apps. No cover. 6pm-9pm. 43 6th St.

Girl Scout @ Port Bar, Oakland The weekly women’s happy hour and dance night with DJ Becky Knox. 6pm10pm. 2023 Broadway.

Latin Drag Night @ Club OMG Weekly Latin night with drag shows hosted by Vicky Jimenez. 9pm-2am. 43 6th St.

LGBT Pub Crawl @ Castro Weekly guided tour of bars. $10-$18. Meet at Harvey Milk Plaza, 7:45pm. Also morning historic tours on Mon, Wed, & Sat.

Miss Kitty’s Trivia Night @ Wild Side West The weekly fun night at the Bernal Heights bar includes prizes, hosted by Kitty Tapata. No cover. 7pm-10pm. 424 Cortland St. 647-3099.

Nip @ Powerhouse Nipple play night for the chesty types. Free coatcheck and drink discount for the shirtless. $5. 10pm-2am. 1347 Folsom St.

SF Restaurant Week @ Multiple Venues Stop by any of 122 participating restaurants for multi-course prix-fixe lunches, dinners and special deals. Thru Jan. 29.

Wrangler Wednesdays @ Rainbow Cattle Company, Guerneville Wear your jeans and meet new folks at the Russian River gay bar. 16220 Main St., Guerneville.

Enjoy whiskey shots from jock-strapped hotties and sexy sports videos at the popular sports bar. 10pm2am. 2247 Market St. 551-2500.

Kick It @ DNA Lounge

My So-Called Night @ Beaux Carnie Asada hosts a new weekly ‘90s-themed video, dancin’, drinkin’ night, with VJs Jorge Terez. Enjoy 90cent drinks. ‘90s-themed attire and costume contest. No cover. 9pm-2am. 2344 Market St.

Nap’s Karaoke @ Virgil’s Sea Room Sing out loud at the weekly least judgmental karaoke in town, hosted by the former owner of the bar. No cover. 9pm. 3152 Mission St. 8292233.

Nice Jewish Boys @ The Residence Keshet’s monthly happy hour gathering for gay Jewish men and their pals. 7pm. 718 14th St.

Nightlife @ California Academy of Sciences

Kandi Love, Northcore Collective and Plus Alliance’s weekly EDM, flow arts dance night, with DJs; glow drag encouraged. $5-$10. 9pm-2am. 375 11th St.

Stimulating festive and fun parties at the earth sciences museum returns, with 21+ music, drinks, demos and exhibits. $12-$15. Weekly 6pm-9pm. 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.

Kingdom of Sodom @ Nob Hill Theatre

Pre-Trumpocalpse Happy Hour @ The Stud

The very interactive clothing-optional party features porn stud Derek Parker in a raunchy stage show; free clothes check. $20. 9pm-1am. 729 Bush St. at Powell. 397-6758.

Enjoy cocktails at a special preInauguration nightmare happy hour fundraiser, sponsored by/proceeds go to and Save Our Stud. $25. 6pm-8:30pm. 399 9th St.

Skate Night @ Church on 8 Wheels Groove on wheels at the former Sacred Heart Church-turned disco roller skate party space, hosted by John D. Miles, the “Godfather of Skate.” Also Wed, Thu, 7pm-10pm. Sat afternoon sessions 1pm-2:30pm and 3pm-5:30pm. $10. Kids 12 and under $5. Skate rentals $5. 554 Fillmore St. at Fell.

Throwback Thursdays @ Qbar Enjoy retro 80s soul, dance and pop classics with DJ Jorge Terez. No cover. 9pm-2am. 456 Castro St.

Thump @ White Horse, Oakland Weekly electro music night with DJ Matthew Baker and guests. 9pm-2am. 6551 Telegraph Ave, (510) 652-3820.

Tubesteak Connection @ Aunt Charlie’s Lounge Disco guru DJ Bus Station John spins grooves at the intimate retro music night. No cell phones on the dance floor, please! $5. 10pm-2am. 133 Turk St. at Taylor. Want your nightlife event listed? Email, at least two weeks before your event. Event photos welcome.

Serving the LGBT communities since 1971

32 • Bay area reporter • January 12-18, 2017

New Year causes and krewes


Both photos: Scott Iverson

Left: (left to right) Terrill Grimes (left-right), Shawn Perez-White, Brent Marek and Cameron Stiel at Lookout’s We Go High fundraiser for the Southern Poverty Law Center. Right: (left to right) Suzan Revah, Race Bannon, BeBe Sweetbriar and Cleve Jones attended the We Go High fundraiser for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

by Donna Sachet


hank you to all our readers who provided thoughtful responses to our end-of-year column. More than ever, we are convinced that together, we shall prevail! The usually calm January period shortly after the holiday rush was punctuated with several successful events. Last Thursday, we joined a stellar host committee in support-

ing Chris Hastings and his team at Lookout for We Go High, a fundraiser for the Southern Poverty Law Center. As First Lady Michelle Obama so powerfully said, “When they go low, we go high!” At first, this organization might seem a stretch, but upon investigation, we are sure you’ll find their mission, their internal workings, and their success stories very much in line with our community’s heart

and soul. By tackling intolerance, discrimination, and outright hate in its many forms across the country through education and litigation, the Southern Poverty Law Center far exceeds the expectations its name might imply. Hosts Mercedez Muro, BeBe Sweetbriar, Brian Kent, Cameron Stiehl, Christopher Vasquez, Ken Henderson, Rick Hamer, Sister Roma, Suzan Revah and hundreds of supporters at Lookout gladly donated at the door and bought raffle tickets for a wide range of prizes awarded throughout the evening. Those contributions combined with half the income of the bar that night totaled over $7300! We enjoyed the company of Leandro Gonzales, Alexis Miranda, Locoya Hill, Race Bannon, and many others, especially when it was announced that this event pushed Lookout beyond the one-milliondollar mark raised for charitable causes since opening nine years ago! What an amazing accomplishment! The following night, Krewe de Kinque, the local Gay Mardi Gras club, celebrated Twelfth Night in traditional New Orleans style at a private home with creole food, generous cocktails, and gold, purple, and green décor galore. Masks were required, so we aren’t completely sure who was there, but kudos to King XIII Sergio and Queen XIII China Silk on a stellar party! We think we saw Deana Dawn, John Weber, Saybeline Fernandez, Aja Monet-Ashton, Barry Miles, David Herrera, Diana Wheeler, Mary Wannah, William Buckley, Richard Landry, and Douglass Stromberg visiting from Palm Springs. Towards the end of the evening certain secret members-only ceremonies took place, followed by the cutting of the King cake which contains a tiny toy infant; the person whose piece of cake holds this icon hosts the next club event. From there, a raucous group traipsed down into the Castro for a final bar crawl. This big-hearted, fun-filled club was started by Gary Virginia and KC Dare thirteen years ago over libations at The Edge and each year raises money for various grass roots causes. This year’s finale, Bal Masque XIV, 14 Karat Gold, with Celebrity Grand Marshal Juanita More! will benefit Homobiles and takes place at The Café on Saturday, February 11, 4-8PM. Get your tickets now

and put some thought into your gold-themed Mardi Gras attire! On Saturday, we joined many members of the Imperial Court of San Francisco at Beaux for a fundraiser for the Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. These two groups have a long shared history of mutual support, dating back to the Founder of the Imperial Court Jose Sarria who rallied his friends to raise money for colorful professional uniforms for the band. Beyond the strong San Francisco Imperial presence, San Jose Emperors Philip Archer and Rick LeBlanc were also in the house as emcees Alexis Miranda and Miz Eva Sensitiva led the lively open show and the band played enthusi-

astically from the balcony above. Never one to be tied to a single event per day, we went from there to Patty McGroin’s Dollhouse show at Midnight Sun, followed by stops at The Mix, Twin Peaks, 440 Castro, and The Edge. Share the wealth, share the joy! Well, enjoy these waning days of January as California restores its water supply, the nation’s eyes turn to Washington, D.C., and we reclaim our energy for the active months ahead. Come February, watch for Academy of Friends Oscar Gala, Krewe de Kinque’s Bal Masque, Imperial Coronation, and all manner of Valentine’s Day celebrations. And as always, your intrepid social columnist will be here to guide you, remind you, and put your name in boldface type.t

Rich Stadtmiller

Twelfth Night celebrations with Krewe de Kinque.


Read more online at

January 12-18, 2017 • Bay Area Reporter • 33

Brendan Phillips Porn and performance peaks with the Nob Hill newbie If you could perform in a scene with any porn star (past or present, living or dead), with whom would you partner and what would you do with them? I’d work with Alexsander Freitas, because he owns the bottom in his scenes and does whatever he wants with them. So, it’s up to him what he’d do with me! With what scene partner have you worked, and cannot wait to work with again? Rafael Alencar is one of the sweetest and sexiest men I have ever met. We will be working together again for sure. Have you ever felt hesitant/ unsure about a scene at its outset, only for it to turn out to be an awesome experience? That’s how I felt the first time I got fucked in the “pile driver” position. You’re upside down with your legs spread open and the top pushes his dick down into you. But I learned it feels incredible and now I request it often on new sets.

Brendan Phillips

by Cornelius Washington


rendan Phillips is a young, muscled fresh face in gay erotica. The Nob Hill Theater is giving the new year the man it deserves, with the sensuality you need. The Bay Area Reporter gets the lowdown from Phillips on sexuality, fitness, and the other ‘F-word.’ Cornelius Washington: Is this your first time performing at The Nob Hill Theater? How does it feel to be invited to perform at such a legendary venue, with an equally impressive history? Brendan Phillips: This is my first time at Nob Hill Theater and I’m most definitely honored to be invited to perform. How do you think you’ll feel when you see yourself having sex on the theater’s legendary massive screen? I love the thrill of performing, so it will be a big turn on for me. However, I probably won’t look at the screen, to be honest. The best performance is when the audience just gets to witness real, passionate, live sex and I’d rather be in the moment than watching myself. What will you (and partner Alex Torres) bring to the stage that no one else can? Alex and I are fortunate to be working together because we chose each other. We are both fans of each other as models, but we haven’t had sex or even kissed yet. We’re going to save the moment that we first get to release all that pent-up sexual tension for each other for the stage. I can’t wait.

What influenced your decision to become an adult film star? It’s funny. I was approached by a recruiter on Grindr. I actually said no to that company, but it opened my eyes to the fact that I wanted to do something that liberated myself sexually, so I approached the company I wanted most and was hired. What do you now know about the industry that you wish you’d known before you entered it? The thing that will make you the most successful on set will be to forget the cameras, the lights, the crew, the set and yourself, and just realize that you’re getting paid to do one of the most enjoyable things a human being can experience. From your perspective, what are the industry’s best and worst aspects?  Best: We get paid to fuck some of the most beautiful men on earth. Worst: Sometimes, you have a really awesome connection with your scene partner, but we often live far apart. And sometimes, when you get on set, you just wanna cuddle instead of fuck. With whom (director, studio, producer, etc.) have you not yet worked, but would love to? I would love to work with a list of producers outside of the US: Tim Tales, Fuckermates, Kristen Bjorn and Stag Homme, to name a few.

Have you ever before performed live sex shows before this appearance, and what was that like for you? Yes, I’ve performed both solo and with a partner, Trenton Ducati, at Flex Spa Cleveland. I remember the rush and exhilaration of people cheering us on while we did it, and it made us go harder. I loved it. What was the first porn film that you remember seeing? What effect did it have on you? I can’t remember exactly who was in the first porn I saw, but I remember always being jealous of the characters because I wanted to fuck at least one or both of them (or all three, four, etc.).

How has being in the industry evolved or expanded your private sexuality? I’m really grateful for how porn has affected my personal sex life. I’ve learned that we all have something that really turns us on and if you’re safe (by your own definition of safe) and no one’s getting hurt, you should try it. What, sexually, would you do in private that you’d never do onscreen, and vice-versa? I’ve never been double penetrated. This may happen sometime in the future (on or off set), but the moment hasn’t been right yet... What is your reaction to your own work? I will watch a 90-second preview and that’s it. I just want to know what the finished product looks like, but the whole experience is for the audience. Of all of your work thus far, do you have a favorite film or scene? I’ve had so many different and amazing experiences that I couldn’t pick a single scene, but, I do remember vividly going to Miami for Miami Beat ( in my first year of modeling. I’d never been to Miami before and we had a beautiful location on South Beach to spend the whole weekend. That was so luxurious since I was so new and didn’t know what to expect from being a model. What has been your fans’ reaction to your bareback work? Everyone loves bareback sex, and each person has their own parameters and safety precautions for doing it. I think the audience loves it because there’s a sense of intimacy and contact that can’t be achieved with a condom. STDs, particularly syphilis and gonorrhea, and drug use rates are skyrocketing nationwide. Do you have any advice for my readers about how to enjoy safer sex? Get tested, get tested often and require your partner(s) to do the same.

Alex Torres performs with Brendan Phillips at The Nob Hill Theater this weekend.

What do you think with be the next big erotica trend? Where do you see yourself within it? I think, sometime in the future, we will see virtual reality porn where you can feel what is happening in the scene. My role? You get to fuck me virtually, that’s what.

What is your ultimate goal in porn? I want to always have fun on set, try things I’ve never tried (in a safe environment), and make plenty of people cum while watching it. When the Nob Hill Theater’s curtains open, who would you most love to see in the audience? Anyone who wants to get off! This is about feeling good, having fun and shooting your load. I know I will.t

Brendan Phillips and Alex Torres at the Nob Hill Theatre; Phillips makes his strip club debut with solo shows at 8pm and sex shows with Torres at 10pm. January 13 & 14. $25. 729 Bush St. at Powell. 3976758. Brendan Phillips’ Twitter Page: Read more with Phillips online at

34 • Bay area reporter • January 12-18, 2017


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Bowie B-day Bash VI First Church of Silversexual’s rockin’ show at The Chapel

by Jim Provenzano photos by Gareth Gooch


he terrific sixth annual Bowie Birthday Bash rocked out January 6 at The Chapel as The First Church of the Sacred Silversexual performed the full Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars album, with guest drag and burlesque performers Peter Griggs, Raya Light, Phatima Rude, Trixxie Carr, Kat Robichaud and several others. In the second half, the band performed almost a dozen other Bowie hits. On January 7, they performed the album Diamond Dogs and more Bowie classics to capacity audiences despite the rain. The ensemble band includes multiple talented vocalists and musicians, including The Reverent Father Lysol Tony-Romeo, Gillian Gnarling, Diogo Zavadski and lead guitarist Adam Dragland, who together bring their own loving reverent style to Bowie classics. Don’t miss their next concerts! bowielovesyou/t


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January 12-18, 2017 • Bay area reporter • 35

Shining Stars Steven Underhill Photos by

Frolic @ SF Eagle F

rolic, the fursuit and friends monthly party, held its second event at their new venue, the San Francisco Eagle on January 7. With music by DJs NeonBunny, visuals by Skibit, and rotating guest DJs and VJs from the furry fandom, Frolicers turned the popular bar into their unique hug-filled interactive experience. SF Eagle, 398 12th Street at Harrison. More photo albums are on BARtab’s Facebook page, See more of Steven Underhill’s photos at


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2017 Season

JAN 26 – FEB 05

Infinite Worlds

Program 02

Modern Masters

JAN 24 – FEB 04

Program 01

The Joy of Dance This program is quite simply a celebration. Featuring Justin Peck’s smash hit, In the Countenance of Kings, set to The BQE by Sufjan Stevens.


2017 Season Media Sponsors

Joseph Walsh in Peck’s In The Countenance Of Kings // © Erik Tomasson

Top: Carlo Di Lanno and Sofiane Sylve in Forsythe’s Pas/Parts 2016. Bottom: Dores André and

Witness the work of three modern masters: Ratmansky’s delicate Seven Sonatas; Possokhov’s new Optimistic Tragedy; and Forsythe’s evocative Pas/Parts 2016.

January 12 2017  

January 12, 2017 edition of the Bay Area Reporter, America;s longest continuously-published and highest circulation LGBT newspaper, serving...

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